Basal cell carcinoma: – Type, Symptoms, Treatment
What is Basal cell carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a type of skin cancer that arises from basal cells, which are cells in the outermost layer of the skin. BCC is the most common form of skin cancer, accounting for about 80% of all cases.
BCC usually develops in areas of the skin that have been exposed to the sun, such as the face, scalp, ears, neck, and shoulders. It typically appears as a small, shiny bump or nodule on the skin that may be pink, red, or white in color. In some cases, it may be brown or black, and may have visible blood vessels or a central depression.
BCC grows very slowly and rarely spreads to other parts of the your body. However, if left untreated, it can invade nearby tissues and structures, causing damage and disfigurement. Therefore, early detection and treatment are important for a successful outcome.
types of basal cell carcinoma
- Nodular basal cell carcinoma: This is the most common type of BCC, and appears as a shiny, raised bump on the skin that may have visible blood vessels.
- Superficial basal cell carcinoma: This type of BCC appears as a scaly, red patch on the skin that may resemble eczema or a rash.
- Pigmented basal cell carcinoma: This type of BCC is brown or black in color and may resemble a mole.
- Infiltrative basal cell carcinoma: This type of BCC is more aggressive than other types, and grows deeper into the skin, making it more difficult to remove.
- Morpheaform basal cell carcinoma: This type of BCC is rare, and appears as a white, waxy scar-like lesion that may be difficult to detect.
basal cell carcinoma treatment
- Surgical removal: This is the most common treatment for BCC, and involves surgically removing the cancerous tissue. The surgical method used may vary depending on the size and location of the BCC, and may include excision, curettage and electrodessication, or Mohs surgery.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy may be used as an alternative to surgery in some cases, particularly for elderly patients or those with medical conditions that make surgery a high risk. It may also be used in combination with surgery or topical treatments.
- Topical medications: Certain topical medications, such as imiquimod or 5-fluorouracil, may be used to treat small, superficial BCCs or as a follow-up treatment after surgery.
- Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy involves freezing the cancerous tissue with liquid nitrogen, and may be used for small, superficial BCCs.
- Photodynamic therapy: This involves applying a topical medication that makes the BCC cells more sensitive to light, followed by exposure to a special light source to destroy the cancerous cells.
basal cell carcinoma symptoms
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) typically appears as a shiny, raised bump or nodule on the skin that may have visible blood vessels. However, the appearance of BCC can vary depending on the type and location of the cancer. Other symptoms and signs of BCC may include:
- A flat, scaly, red patch on the skin, which may be mistaken for a rash or eczema.
- A white, waxy scar-like lesion that may be difficult to detect.
- A pink, pearly or flesh-colored, dome-shaped growth with a central crater or ulcer.
- A brown or black lesion that may resemble a mole.
- Bleeding or oozing from the affected area, which may scab over and then recur.
- Itching, tenderness, or pain in the affected area.