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Comprehensive Guide on Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

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BCC is one of the most common types of skin cancer that typically starts in the basal cells and frequently spreads in the patient’s entire body. The most common symptoms of this dangerous cancer are the appearance of persistent spots on the head, chest, neck, arms, legs, and many other prominent body parts. It involves medical dermatology for its diagnosis, while its ultimate treatment and cure is a dermatological surgery conducted by a reliable skin specialist.

Thus, if you find a mole or suspicious mole anywhere on your skin by having too much time spent under the Sunrays over several years, your skin may be significantly concerned with deadly skin cancer. And according to most high-qualified dermatologists, almost 80% of all skin cancers start from basal cell carcinomas, which is why this condition is mainly named basal cell cancer. Indeed, this skin disorder is not only the most common type among different skin cancers but also the most frequently occurring cancer in people who spend more than in the Sun.

What is Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma is a unique type of skin cancer that most commonly occurs when significant damage to the basal cell’s DNA is present in the topmost layer of the skin called the epidermis. These cells are particularly named the basal cells as they naturally lie deepest in the epidermis. In the skin of normal individuals, typically basal cells are present less than one-hundredth of an inch deep, but when a person catches skin cancer, these cells start spreading even deeper than that.

Significant Symptoms of Basal Cell Carcinoma

As already discussed, a BCC abbreviated for basal cell carcinoma is a persistent and stubborn spot that generally appears on areas more exposed to direct sun rays than others, such as the face, head, neck, arms, legs, and feet. Over time, that spot may take on several different forms, such as

  1. an open sore
  2. a reddish irritated patch
  3. a shiny red bump or nodule
  4. a pink irregular growth
  5. a small scar-like patch, and many more.

All such spots may sometimes even scab, bleed and heal up naturally after a week or two, and then frequently bleed and become irritated again.

Furthermore, in a few individuals, the symptoms of this skin cancer may also resemble the prominent signs of eczema and psoriasis, which makes it difficult for a dermatologist to diagnose the right skin problem and its possible cause.

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comprehensive guide on basal cell carcinoma (bcc) Comprehensive Guide on Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) Prof

How is a BCC Diagnosed?

Most experienced and professional skin specialists can immediately get a very good idea of a persistent spot typically associated with a basal cell carcinoma disorder by just looking at it and having a keen view of it. However, a skin biopsy is essential to confirm this skin problem’s diagnosis, cause, and subsequent cure in a few cases.

How Do Dermatologists Treat Basal Cell Carcinoma?

A basal cell carcinoma spot typically remains in a single location on the skin, primarily on the region from where it starts. So usually, that particular spot is taken into account, and then various effective treatments, including the following local surgical procedures, are conducted:

  • Surgical Excision

Suppose the lesion situated on the arms, legs, or torso is relatively small in size, and the dermatological biopsy shows that it does not have any significant risk or danger of spreading to its nearby surrounding areas. In that case, it can be easily treated in the clinic of a professional doctor.

For this, a skin specialist may perform an excision procedure with the help of a scalpel that smoothly removes the tumor, including some surrounding skin. Then he applies stitches to keep the wound closed, so it heals soon. Those stitches might probably later be removed with a week or two. However, an excellent alternative to such stitches maybe some dissolvable stitches that generally disappear on their own within the time-lapse of four weeks.

Furthermore, patients may often have some redness or a small scar associated with an incision that usually fades over time. Nevertheless, the cure rate with this particular dermatological technique is 90-93%. Still, the results significantly vary from patient to patient according to the type of patient’s skin, the cause of basal cell carcinoma cancer, and the experience of dermatologists performing this procedure.

  • Curettage or Electrodesiccation

This technique of skin cancer treatment is also known as “scraping and burning.” In this technique, a skin specialist initially anesthetizes the skin of the affected region, scrapes out the skin tumor by utilizing a semi-sharp blade, and then uses heat and electricity together to seal off the delicate edges of the surrounding skin.

Typically, this skin treatment proves very effective for low-risk, a small, and superficial skin cancer that mainly appears on the extremities and trunk region, where it may leave round, small and pale scars. However, for superficial basal skin cancers that are primarily confined to the topmost layer of the patient’s skin, this dermatological technique usually has up to a 90% cure rate successfully.

  • Mohs Micrograph Surgery

That procedure is considered one of the most admired methods for thoroughly treating basal skin cancer, particularly in cases when

  • the tumor is on the face
  • the basal cell carcinoma is somehow greater than one centimeter
  • the carcinoma is recurrent
  • the dermatologist cannot easily detect the cancer  
  • the margins of the skin are not easily determined, and many more.  

Typically, in Mohs Surgery, a professional skin specialist uses a scalpel to remove fine thin pieces and tissue of affected skin little by little in a series of stages. After those pieces are subsequently removed, turn by turn, the patient’s waist until the doctor processes and examines the sample under a microscope that helps ensure that the rest of the margins of the surrounding skin are clean and free of abnormal cancerous cells.

Moreover, Mohs surgery also significantly allows dermatologists to be more precise in this procedure without affecting any more surrounding tissues of the skin than is necessary. Once the basal cell carcinoma affected skin is removed, the wound of Mohs surgery may heal and repair soon, naturally or with the help of stitches. Nevertheless, the cure rate of this skin cancer treatment technique s almost 98-99% in most cases.

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