Basal Cell Carcinoma
At approximately two million reported cases annually within the United States, Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of cancer found in humans today.
It is commonly found on areas of skin frequently exposed to sunlight like the back of your hands, neck, and the head. However it can also occur on the lower legs, back, face, and chest.
Tanning bed use gives you a much greater risk of developing basal cell carcinoma and typically will cause patients to develop the condition much earlier in their lifetime.
The good news is that this cancer is slow growing and with prompt treatment it is unlikely to spread. Left untreated however, it can grow deep and wide, damaging tissue and bones irreparably.
Skin cancer should not be ignored, if left untreated it can cause permanent disfigurement and even death!
Symptoms and Signs
The unfortunate truth is that basal cell carcinoma can be difficult to recognize without the help of an experienced medical professional as the appearance can vary drastically from case to case.
You need to immediately get in touch with Pittsburgh’s best Dermatologists at the Golla Center for Dermatology if you have any of these symptoms:
Increased Risk of Basal Cell Carcinoma
It is important to stress that this type of cancer is extremely common and can happen to anyone, however these factors will lead to a higher risk:
- Fair or light colored skin with freckles
- Grey, blue, or green eyes
- Red or blonde hair
- Burning easily when exposed to sun
- Use of Indoor tanning methods
- Lack of proper sun protection when outdoors
The Golla Center for Dermatology has helped me few times with possibly cancerous skin patches. The procedures were always fast and painless and the recovery time was so short! I recommend them to everyone in my family. . . Phenomenal team!
Pittsburgh Treatment Options
Your expert Dermatology team at the Golla Center for Dermatology can give you a diagnosis by taking a biopsy during your risk free consultation.
If the biopsy confirms the presence of a basal cell carcinoma we will go over treatment options tailored specifically to your needs. Because there is a 50% chance of developing another Basal Cell Carcinoma in the 5 years after your first one appears, we will also recommend follow up visits every 6 months to make sure you are completely cancer free.
Our treatment options are:
This method scrapes the growth away from the healthy tissue and then applies heat to eradicate any remaining cancerous cells.
This procedure removes the entire growth and an additional buffer area of normal skin. Stitches are then used to seal the wound.
This surgical procedure has the best cure rate and is the least destructive to surrounding healthy tissue. Usually this is the best option for tumors that present a high risk and are located on the patient’s face.
For minor cases, both 5-fluoruracil (5-FU) and Imiquimod can be topically applied for an effective treatment that is extremely safe and minimizes discomfort.
For elderly patients and those with health conditions that prevent surgery, radiation therapy can prove to be an effective method with about a 90% cure rate.
As a last resort for cancers that have spread too far or are otherwise untreatable, Vismodegib (Erivedge) may slow the tumor’s progress and even reverse growth.
Basal cell carcinoma screening and treatment is a foundational part of our care offering at the Golla Center for Dermatology.
Click the “Schedule My Risk Free Consultation” button immediately for more information.