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Basal Cell Carcinoma

Board-Certified Skin Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment at Westerville Dermatology

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Basal Cell Carcinoma

Board-Certified Skin Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment at Westerville Dermatology

Basal Cell Carcinoma

What is Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common skin cancer diagnosed in the United States, with more than 4 million new cases diagnosed each year in this country alone. Even more worrying, rates of basal cell carcinoma are continuing to rise year after year. 

This is why it’s important to learn as much as you can about basal cell carcinoma, such as what it looks like, where it forms, and the most effective basal cell carcinoma treatments. We cover all that and more below, but let’s first cover what basal cell carcinoma is. 

Basal cell carcinoma is a form of skin cancer that develops in the basal cells located in the epidermis, which is the top layer of skin. Due to cell DNA damage, basal cells become mutated and begin to replicate out of control, which is what causes the cancer tumor or growth to form. 

This common skin cancer is primarily caused by continuous unprotected exposure to UV rays, such as those from the sun or tanning beds. Over time, exposure to harmful UV rays damages cell DNA and may cause cell mutations. As mentioned above, when these mutations happen in the basal cells, they begin to replicate out of control. This process of rapid cell reproduction is what we call cancer.

Basal Cell Carcinoma - pre-removal of a suspicious dark brown mole on the abdomen of a young woman.
Questions

Basal Cell Carcinoma FAQS

Interested in learning more about basal cell carcinoma? Review the most common questions about basal cell carcinoma below, and contact us to schedule your skin cancer screening today.

There are several key warning signs and symptoms of basal cell carcinoma to keep an eye out for. This includes:

  • A small pearly bump that may bleed, crust over, or form a depression in the center.
  • Patch of skin that doesn’t heal for several months; may bleed from time to time or form a scab.
  • A flat or slightly raised wide growth that usually does not bleed but develops and grows slowly over time.
  • Area of the skin that continues to become irritated, break open, or bleed over the course of several months.
  • A sore or wart-like growth that continuously heals and comes back.
  • Firm white scar-like growth that oftentimes has significant spread under the skin.

Additionally, basal cell carcinoma most often appears on sun-exposed areas, such as the face, scalp, ears, hands, neck, and upper trunk. 

Basal cell carcinomas can certainly be painful or tender. Common symptoms of basal cell carcinomas include areas of skin that become red, swollen, scaly, crusty, or begin oozing or bleeding, which may feel itchy, tender, or painful. 

Fortunately, basal cell carcinoma rarely spreads and tends to not be as dangerous as other forms of skin cancer, such as melanoma. 

However, a BCC growth can be disfiguring and life-threatening if left untreated. In rare cases, when basal cell carcinoma is not removed, it can grow wide and deep into the skin, destroying skin, bone, and other surrounding tissue.

In its early stages, basal cell carcinoma can appear as a small, pearly bump; patch of skin that fails to heal, or continuously heals and comes back; or an area of skin that bleeds, crusts, oozes, or itches.

Basal cell carcinoma is malignant, as it grows and invades surrounding tissue. However, BCCs are rarely metastatic. This means that basal cell carcinoma tends to not spread to other parts of the body. In fact, basal cell carcinoma is slow-growing, which makes it easier to treat and cure when detected early.

There are certainly steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma. Our top skin cancer prevention tips include: 

  • Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen everyday.
  • Staying out of the sun during peak hours (usually between 10 AM and 4 PM).
  • Avoiding tanning beds.
  • Wearing UPF clothing when outside.
  • Perform skin cancer screenings each month and visit a board-certified dermatologist on a yearly basis for regular skin check-ups.

To schedule your annual skin cancer screening in Westerville, OH, contact the friendly team of board-certified dermatologists at Westerville Dermatology! 

Basal cell carcinoma has one of the highest cure rates depending on the type of treatment used. In most cases, BCC has a cure rate of around 85 to 95 percent with treatment methods such as cryotherapy, curettage and electrodesiccation (electrosurgery), surgical excision, and Mohs surgery. 

At Westerville Dermatology, we use cryotherapy, curettage and electrodesiccation, and surgical excision as basal cell carcinoma treatments in Westerville, OH. 

To learn more about our BCC treatments, please contact us. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have regarding skin cancer, treatment options, or dermatology services at our comfortable, state-of-the-art clinic in central Ohio!

PHOTOS

Basal Cell Carcinoma Photos

Use our photos of suspicious moles and basal cell carcinoma below to get a better understanding of how this type of skin cancer may present itself on your body. 

Contact

Basal Cell Carcinoma Diagnosis & Treatment in Westerville & Gahanna, Ohio

Are you experiencing symptoms of basal cell carcinoma or have noticed a suspicious mole on your skin? Visit a board-certified dermatologist at Westerville Dermatology! We’re experts at evaluating, diagnosing and treating basal cell carcinoma at our state-of-the-art clinic in Westerville, OH. Please give us a call at (614) 895-0400 or request an appointment online.

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Have questions or concerns? Please call us at 614-895-0400.

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