Basal Cell Carcinoma, also known as BCC, is the most common form of skin cancer. It begins in the basal cells, which are found in the lower part of the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin).
Symptoms of Basal Cell Carcinoma
The following are common symptoms of Basal Cell Carcinoma:
- A persistent, shiny bump or nodule
- A flat, flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesion
- A pinkish patch of skin with visible blood vessels
- A lesion with raised edges and a lower central area
- A sore that does not heal and may ooze or crust
Causes of Basal Cell Carcinoma
The following are common causes of Basal Cell Carcinoma:
- Excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds
- Light skin color
- A history of frequent sunburns
- A weak immune system
- A family history of skin cancer
Treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma
The following are common treatments for Basal Cell Carcinoma:
Surgical treatment is the most common method of removing Basal Cell Carcinomas. It involves the removal of the cancerous cells and surrounding tissue. This can be done through a variety of methods, including:
- Excision: The cancerous tissue is removed with a scalpel and the wound is then closed with stitches.
- Mohs Surgery: This is a specialized type of surgery where the cancerous tissue is removed layer by layer until only healthy tissue remains.
- Curettage and Electrodessication: The cancerous tissue is scraped off with a curette and then the wound is cauterized with an electric current.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. It is often used in conjunction with surgery, especially for larger or recurrent tumors.
Topical medications, such as imiquimod and 5-fluorouracil, are applied directly to the skin to kill cancer cells. They are most often used for small or superficial tumors.
Prevention of Basal Cell Carcinoma
The following are ways to prevent Basal Cell Carcinoma:
Always wear a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating.
Wear Protective Clothing
Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, hats, and sunglasses, when spending time outdoors.
Avoid Tanning Beds
Avoid using tanning beds, as they emit UV radiation that can increase your risk of skin cancer.
Check Your Skin Regularly
Check your skin regularly for changes and see a dermatologist if you notice any suspicious moles or lesions.
Basal Cell Carcinoma is a treatable and preventable form of skin cancer. By taking the necessary precautions and seeking treatment early, you can protect your skin and prevent the spread of this disease. If you are concerned about your skin or have noticed any changes, see a dermatologist for a professional diagnosis and treatment plan.