Basal Cell Carcinoma: Symptoms, Types, and Treatment
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) – the most common type of skin cancer. I understand you’re interested in learning more about it, and I’m happy to provide you with accurate and helpful information.
What is BCC?
BCC is a slow-growing cancer that develops in the basal cells, which are located in the lower layer of the epidermis (the outermost layer of your skin). It most commonly appears on sun-exposed areas like your face, ears, neck, and hands.
Symptoms of BCC:
- A pearly or waxy bump or patch on your skin
- A pink or flesh-colored growth with a rolled edge and a central indentation
- A bleeding or crusting area on your skin
- A sore that doesn’t heal
Types of BCC:
- Nodular BCC: The most common type, appearing as a pearly or flesh-colored bump.
- Superficial BCC: A thin, waxy patch that may be translucent or red.
- Morphea BCC: A flat, irregular area with poorly defined borders, often difficult to diagnose.
BCC is highly treatable when caught early. Common treatment options include:
- Surgery: Excision of the BCC with a margin of healthy tissue is the most common and effective treatment.
- Mohs micrographic surgery: A specialized technique that removes the BCC while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.
- Cryotherapy: Freezing the BCC with liquid nitrogen.
- Radiation therapy: Used for BCC in certain locations or for individuals who cannot undergo surgery.
Regular skin checks are crucial for early detection of BCC. Be aware of any new or changing lesions on your skin and report them to your doctor promptly.
- The Skin Cancer Foundation: https://www.skincancer.org/
- American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/skin-cancer.html
- National Cancer Institute: https://www.cancer.gov/types/skin