Types of Skin Cancer: Basal Cell Carcinoma

Published on July 27, 2017
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Overexposed areas of the skin can sometimes develop skin cancer. A very common type of skin cancer is called Basal Cell Carcinoma, or BCC. It is the least risky and the most easily treatable form of cancer, provided you catch it and clear it at an early stage.

This cancer doesn’t spread on your skin. However, it could go deep into the skin tissue and eventually to the bone. Thus, it’s important to bring it to your doctor’s notice should you notice any symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of Basal Cell Carcinoma appear in the form of tumors that start off as small shiny bumps on your nose or some other part of your face. You could also get these bumps on other parts of your body, such as your hands and legs.

These bumps are flesh-colored growths that look pearl-like, resembling a mole or a pimple that won’t go away for a long time. They are shaped like domes filled with blood vessels. The color of the growth may be black, brown, red, or pink.

Basal Cell Carcinoma doesn’t show up until many years after overexposure to the sun. However, you may develop BCC at a younger age if you are used to tanning beds or are exposed to the sun for very long hours. Basal Cell Carcinomas are fragile and bleed easily.

What Are the Causes of Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Basal Cell Carcinoma is caused by the ultraviolet rays that are emitted by the sun or tanning beds. People with fair or light skin are more susceptible to getting this condition.

When UV light falls on your skin, it impairs the DNA of the skin mildly. However, when you’re exposed to the sun for a long period of time for years, the DNA of the cell gets damaged, which causes changes in the way your cells behave. Over time, cancer is formed. This process takes years and years of prolonged intense sun exposure.

How Is It Treated?

Basal Cell Carcinoma can be treated in multiple ways. Usually, the doctor takes a sample of the skin from the affected area and a biopsy is performed on it to confirm the condition. The tumor is then either surgically removed or scrapped off and the cancer cells are killed with electricity.

Another way of treating this condition is to freeze the cells. In other cases, radiation therapy is used to kill the cancer cells. Mohs surgery is another popular technique used to remove the cancerous tumor and is performed over the course of several weeks.

Safety Measures to Be Taken

It advisable to protect your skin from the sun in order to prevent cancer from reoccurring. Use of sunglasses and a good-quality sunscreen is highly recommended. Wearing long-sleeve shirts and using a hat for sun protection both help to keep damage caused by the sun in check. It is also important that you stay vigilant and keep an eye on your skin to detect any such further growths on your body.

Arrange a Visit to Learn More

You can learn more about Basal Cell Carcinoma and other types of skin cancer by speaking with experienced dermatologist Dr. Anita Gill. During a consultation, Dr. Gill can examine your skin and diagnose any suspicious growths. Make an appointment by contacting our office.