What is Basal Cell Carcinoma?

The most common type of skin cancer is the basal cell carcinoma. It is a type of non-melanocytic skin cancer that takes place from basal cells and accounts for approximately 75% of all skin cancer cases. Metastasis and mortality are rare, yet, it can bring considerable damage and disfigurement by invading proximate tissues of the eyes, ears or nose. Fair-skinned people with a family history of thus cancer are mainly affected.

Two thirds of the cases involves sunlight exposure as a significant factor, which confirms why tumors develop typically on sun-exposed areas such as the face, scalp, neck, torso, back, and legs. Exposure to sunlight leads to the formation of thymine dimmers which is DNA damage. Another risk factor is exposure to ultraviolet waves in tanning booths.

A basal cell carcinoma may appear at first as a little, shiny, semi-transparent dome-shaped tumor with rolled margins frequently covered by small, superficial blood vessels termed as telangiectases. Some basal cell carcinomas include melanin pigment causing a brown pigmentation. The open sore may bleed and heal again and again.

To make an accurate diagnosis, a shave biopsy is performed. A sample of the affected skin is taken out and is viewed under magnification to verify presence of cancer cells.

The modes of treatment adjust conditional on the size, level of penetration, and location of the basal cell tumor. Excision takes the cancer out. In curettage and electrodessication, the tumor is scraped away and electricity destroys any remaining cancerous cells. If the cancer has metastasized to organs or lymph nodes or in such cases when surgery cannot treat the cancer, radiation is desirable. If the basal cell carcinoma is under the superficial type, then topical creams with Imiquimod or 5-fluorouracil may be prescribed by the physician.



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Basal Cell Carcinoma Pictures

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