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What Is Basal Cell Carcinoma?
BCC is a type of skin cancer that affects a lot of people. It is the most common type of cancer in the world. Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that arises from the uncontrolled growth of basal cells in the skin. It is most commonly found on sun-exposed areas of the skin, such as the face, ears, neck, and scalp, and it is often caused by long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
At our clinic in Lahore, we offer effective treatments for basal cell carcinoma. Our team of experienced dermatologists will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs. Options may include surgery, radiation therapy, or topical chemotherapy.
Basal Cell Carcinoma: What Is It And How Does It Happen?
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a type of skin cancer that occurs when one of the basal cells in the skin develops a mutation in its DNA. Basal cells are found in the lower part of the outer layer of skin (the epidermis) and they produce new skin cells.
Normally, as new skin cells are produced, they push the older cells towards the surface of the skin, where they die and are shed off. However, if a basal cell develops a mutation in its DNA, it may start to grow and multiply rapidly when it would normally die. This can cause the abnormal cells to accumulate and form a cancerous tumor on the skin.
The process of creating new skin cells is controlled by the DNA of the basal cell. The DNA contains instructions that tell the cell what to do. When there is a mutation in the DNA, the instructions change and tell the cell to keep growing and multiplying, even when it would normally stop. This can cause the abnormal cells to build up and form a cancerous tumor on the skin.
How Does Someone Get Bcc?
Most people who get BCC have fair skin that they haven't protected from the sun or used tanning beds. They might have noticed signs of sun damage on their skin, like age spots, discolored patches, and deep wrinkles before they got the cancer. If you don't protect your skin from the sun or use tanning beds, you have a greater risk of getting BCC.
Basal cell carcinoma is usually slow-growing and may not cause any symptoms at first, but it can become larger over time and may ulcerate or bleed. It is important to protect your skin from the sun and to check your skin regularly for any changes, as early detection.
Treatment of basal cell carcinoma can greatly improve the chances of a successful outcome. Wearing sunscreen and protective clothing and seeking shade when the sun is strongest can help reduce the risk of developing basal cell carcinoma and other types of skin cancer.
Is Bcc Serious?
For most people, BCC is not life-threatening. It grows slowly and doesn't usually spread to other parts of the body. But it's still important to treat it.
If it's not treated, it can grow deep and hurt nerves, blood vessels, and even bones. It can also change the way you look, and for some people, it can be disfiguring.
How Do You Treat Bcc?
If it's found early, BCC is highly treatable. You can usually have it removed during a visit to the dermatologist. If it's not found early, it can grow deep and be harder to treat. To prevent it from growing deep, it's important to know the signs and symptoms of BCC.
One common sign is a slowly growing, non-healing spot that sometimes bleeds. BCC can also appear in other ways on the skin. If you notice anything unusual on your skin, it's important to see a dermatologist.
What Does Bcc Looks (Signs and Symptoms) Like?
Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer. It can show up as different types of growths or spots on the skin. Here are some things to look out for:
- A pink or reddish growth that dips in the center: This could be a sign of basal cell carcinoma.
- A growth or scaly patch of skin on or near the ear: This could also be a sign of basal cell carcinoma.
- A sore that doesn't heal, or heals and returns: If you have a sore that won't go away, it could be a sign of basal cell carcinoma.
- A scaly, slightly raised patch of irritated skin: This could be a sign of basal cell carcinoma.
- A round growth that may be the same color as your skin: This could be a sign of basal cell carcinoma.
- A spot on the skin that feels a bit scaly or looks like an age spot: This could be a sign of basal cell carcinoma.
- A scar-like mark on your skin that may be skin-colored or waxy: This could be a sign of basal cell carcinoma.
- A scaly patch with a spot of normal-looking skin in the center: This could be a sign of basal cell carcinoma.
- Basal cell carcinoma can be lighter in some areas and darker in others: This means that the growth or spot on your skin may have different colors in different areas.
- Basal cell carcinoma can be brown in color: This means that the growth or spot on your skin may be brown.
- Basal cell carcinoma can look like a group of shiny bumps: This means that the growth or spot on your skin may be a cluster of shiny bumps.
- Basal cell carcinoma can look like a wart or a sore: This means that the growth or spot on your skin may resemble a wart or a sore.
It's important to pay attention to any changes in your skin and to have any unusual growths or spots checked by a doctor. If you have basal cell carcinoma, your doctor can recommend treatment to remove the growth and help prevent it from spreading.
Basal Cell Carcinoma Eyelid
If you notice any changes to your eyelid, such as a new growth or a change in the appearance of an existing growth, you should see a dermatologist or ophthalmologist (a doctor who specializes in the eye and its diseases).
They will be able to examine your eyelid and determine if the growth is a BCC or something else.
If the growth is determined to be a BCC, the treatment options may include surgery to remove the tumor, radiation therapy, or topical chemotherapy (medicine applied to the skin). Your doctor will recommend the best treatment option for you based on the size, location, and stage of the cancer.
Basal Cell Carcinoma Types
There are several different types of basal cell carcinoma (BCC), a type of skin cancer. The most common types of BCC are:
- Nodular basal cell carcinoma: This is the most common type of BCC and appears as a flesh-colored or pearly bump on the skin. It is often small and dome-shaped.
- Superficial basal cell carcinoma: This type of BCC appears as a flat, scaly patch on the skin. It is often red or pink in color and may be mistaken for a rash or eczema.
- Morpheaform basal cell carcinoma: This type of BCC appears as a scar-like patch on the skin. It is often firm, white, or yellow in color, and may be difficult to distinguish from normal skin.
- Pigmented basal cell carcinoma: This type of BCC appears as a dark, brown or black growth on the skin. It is often mistaken for a mole or freckle.
- Infiltrative basal cell carcinoma: This type of BCC grows deeper into the skin, making it harder to treat. It may appear as a small, red or pink bump on the skin.
It's important to see a dermatologist or other healthcare professional if you notice any changes to your skin, such as new growths or changes in the appearance of existing growths. They will be able to determine if the growth is a BCC or another type of skin problem and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Things That Can Increase Chances Of Bcc
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a type of skin cancer that develops in the basal cells, which are cells found in the lower part of the skin. There are certain things that can increase your chances of getting BCC. Here are some things to look out for:
- Spending a lot of time in the sun or in tanning beds: If you spend a lot of time in the sun or use tanning beds, you are more likely to get BCC. This is especially true if you live in a sunny or high-altitude place, or if you have had severe sunburns.
- Having had radiation therapy: If you have had radiation therapy to treat acne or other skin problems, you may be more likely to get BCC in the areas where you had the treatment.
- Having fair skin: People with fair skin, blond or red hair, and blue or green eyes are more likely to get BCC.
- Getting older: BCC is more common in older adults, but it can also affect younger people. It is becoming more common in people in their 20s and 30s.
- Having a history of skin cancer: If you have had BCC before, you may be more likely to get it again. If you have family members with skin cancer, you may also be at a higher risk.
- Taking medications that suppress the immune system: If you take medications that weaken your immune system, you may be more likely to get BCC.
- Being exposed to arsenic: Arsenic is a toxic metal that can be found in the environment. If you are exposed to a lot of arsenic, you may be more likely to get BCC.
- Having a genetic syndrome that causes skin cancer: Some rare genetic diseases can increase the risk of BCC, such as nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome and xeroderma pigmentosum.
- Weakened immune system: If your immune system is not working as well as it should, you have a higher chance of getting this type of skin cancer.
- Organ transplants: If you have had an organ transplant, the medicine you take to prevent your body from rejecting the organ can make your immune system weaker. This means you have a higher risk of getting basal cell skin cancer.
- Certain medical conditions: Some medical conditions can increase your risk of developing basal cell skin cancer. These include nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, xeroderma pigmentosum, Rombo syndrome, and Bazex-Dupre-Christol syndrome.
- PUVA treatments: These treatments are used to help with skin conditions like psoriasis. They involve taking a medicine called psoralen and then exposing your skin to controlled UV light. If you have had 100 or more PUVA treatments, your risk of developing basal cell skin cancer may be higher.
- X-ray treatments for acne: If you had these treatments in the past, it may increase your risk of basal cell skin cancer.
- Dialysis for kidney disease: People who receive dialysis for kidney disease have a higher risk of developing basal cell skin cancer.
- Tanning bed: If you use a tanning bed, you ****increase your risk of developing basal cell carcinoma by 29%.
Preventions For Bcc:
There are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of getting basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Here are some tips:
- Keep all your dermatology appointments. Your dermatologist will tell you how often you will need to come in. During these appointments, your dermatologist will check you for signs of skin cancer.
- Stay out of the sun during the middle of the day: The sun's rays are strongest between about 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so try to avoid the sun during these times. You can also try to schedule outdoor activities for other times of the day, even on cloudy days or in the winter.
- Wear sunscreen: It's important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 all year round. Make sure to apply sunscreen generously, and reapply it every two hours (or more often if you're sweating or swimming).
- Wear protective clothing: You can protect your skin by wearing dark, tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs, and a broad-brimmed hat. You can also find protective clothing that is specifically made to block out the sun's rays. Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays can also help protect your eyes.
- Avoid tanning beds: Tanning beds emit UV rays, which can increase your risk of skin cancer.
- Check your skin regularly: It's important to regularly check your skin for any new growths or changes in existing moles, freckles, bumps, and birthmarks. Use mirrors to check your face, neck, ears, scalp, chest, arms, hands, legs, feet, genital area, and between your buttocks. If you notice anything unusual, talk to your doctor.
Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment
- Surgical removal: There are three different ways to remove basal cell skin cancer surgically. The method used depends on the type of cancer, where it is located, and how deep it is.
- Excision: This method involves cutting out the cancer and a small amount of normal-looking skin around it. The removed tissue is then examined under a microscope to check for any remaining cancer cells. If any are found, more treatment may be needed.
- Mohs surgery: This method is used when there is not enough skin in a certain area to remove a margin of normal-looking skin, such as on the eyelid or nose. The surgeon can see where the cancer stops during the surgery and remove only the cancerous tissue.
- Curettage and electrodesiccation: This method involves scraping the cancer off the skin with a tool called a curette and then using heat to destroy any remaining cancer cells. This method is usually only used on the trunk, arms, or legs.
- Medication applied to the skin: This treatment is used at home and may be prescribed before or after other treatments for basal cell skin cancer. It can help reduce the size of the cancer or kill any remaining cancer cells. Two medications that can be used for this purpose are imiquimod and 5-FU. These medications may cause side effects such as redness, swelling, sores, crusting, itching, and tingling sensations.
- Radiation treatments: These treatments are given at a hospital or treatment center and involve exposing the cancer to high-energy rays. They may be given over a period of several weeks and may be used as the only treatment or as a follow-up to another treatment. Radiation is typically only used to treat basal cell skin cancer in people who are 60 years of age or older.
How Is Basal Cell Skin Cancer Treated When It Grows Deep Or Spreads?
Basal cell skin cancer is a type of cancer that grows slowly on the skin.
It's important to treat it early to prevent it from growing deep and causing problems. If the cancer grows deep, it can be disfiguring. This is called advanced basal cell carcinoma.
Sometimes, basal cell skin cancer can spread to other parts of the body, but this is rare. When the cancer spreads, it usually goes to the lymph nodes near the tumor first. From there, it might spread to the bones, lungs, or other parts of the skin. This is called metastatic basal cell carcinoma.
There are different ways to treat basal cell skin cancer that has grown deep or spread to the lymph nodes:
- Surgery to remove the tumor and cancerous lymph nodes
- Radiation to kill any remaining cancer cells
- Medicine that works throughout the body (called systemic therapy)
There are two medicines that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat basal cell skin cancer: Sonidegib and Vismodegib. These medicines come in pills and are taken every day. They may help stop or slow down the spread of cancer and shrink the cancerous tumors in some patients.
If Sonidegib or Vismodegib is not an option or stops working, another medicine called Cemplimab may be used. Cemplimab is a type of immunotherapy that helps the body find and destroy cancer cells. It's given through an infusion, which means you would go to a doctor's office, hospital, or cancer treatment center to get it. Patients receive an infusion once every three weeks.
There are also newer treatments for basal cell skin cancer that is deep or has spread that are being studied in clinical trials. If you have advanced basal cell skin cancer, you may be able to join one of these trials.
Don't let basal cell carcinoma go untreated. It can cause cosmetic changes or damage to the surrounding tissue if left untreated. Protect your skin and your health by seeking treatment at our clinic. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards clear, healthy skin.