Tag: basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common of all skin cancers. Though it doesn’t spread like melanoma, it can cause disfiguring scars if not identified and treated early. Basal cell carcinoma starts in basal cells; the cells that line the top layer of skin and produce new cells as old ones die.

As with other types of skin cancer, the cause of most basal cell carcinomas is cellular damage resulting from excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. Most basal cell carcinomas are found on areas of the skin that have received a lot of sun exposure; like the face, scalp, neck, shoulders, and back.

One of the hallmark signs of a basal cell carcinoma is an open sore that bleeds or crusts over and never seems to heal. The cancer can also form a shiny or waxy bump, sometimes with blood vessels running through it. Or, it can take the form of a scaly reddish patch. In rare cases, basal cell carcinomas resemble a white, waxy scar. If you notice any growth that’s new or changing, call your dermatologist for an appointment.

The doctor will do a biopsy, removing a small sample of tissue from the growth to check it for cancer. For small cancers, the doctor can use a tool called a curette to scrape it off, and then seal the skin underneath with an electric needle. In Mohs surgery, the doctor removes thin layers of the tissue, one at a time, examining each layer under a microscope until all the cancer cells are gone. For larger cancers, the dermatologist can use a scalpel to remove the whole growth, along with some of the skin around it. This is called surgical excision.

Lasers, radiation, and freezing are other methods used to remove basal cell carcinoma. Cancers that are not very deep may be treated with topical drugs such as imiquimod (Aldara), and fluorouracil (Carac, Fluoroplex, Efudex).

Melanomas Can Affect All Races

Melanomas Can Affect All Races

People with fair complexions, red hair, blue eyes, and freckles typically are considered to be at greater risk of skin cancer than their darker-skinned counterparts. Research has shown that melanomas and other skin cancers occur more commonly in Caucasians than in other racial groups.

However, a new study suggests that African-Americans

The Best Ways to Protect Your Skin During the Summer

Over-exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can not only cause pre-mature aging of the skin, but it can also increase your risk of skin cancer. No matter what your age, it’s crucial that you take steps to limit sun damage and reduce your risk of developing skin cancer,

Nicotinamide Linked to Fewer Recurrent Skin Cancers

If the headlines about a drug related to B vitamins helping to prevent skin cancer tempted you to toss your sunscreen and broad-brimmed hat, think again. The findings were exciting because the hope of preventing cancer with vitamins has largely proven elusive, and the researchers declared their results ready to

Newsbriefs: Basal Cell Carcinoma; Ovarian Cancer

Topical Skin Cream for Basal Cell Carcinoma.
UK scientists investigated the effectiveness of imiquimod, a topical skin cream, to treat low-risk basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer, compared to standard treatment with Mohs surgery or excisional surgery. Mohs surgery involves removing one layer of tissue at a time,

4. Keeping Skin Healthy

In this chapter you’ll learn about the products and services we see, buy or use almost every day that may or may not have a profound effect on the health of our skin. Which foods should we eat or avoid? Which kinds of clothing apparel and accessories protect us? What

2. Beating Skin Cancer

Cancer is the name for a collection of related diseases. The distinguishing characteristic of all them is that cells divide, grow, and spread (metastasize) to other tissues of the body.
Skin cancer, then, is the abnormal growth of skin cells. It is responsible for one-third of all cancers in the United

From the Editor

During the past 12 months, skin cancer and skin disease research advances have been reported in record numbers. Almost every week, another step has been made toward diagnosing, treating, and preventing conditions that can affect all of us.
As a result, cure rates have never been higher. The overall five-year survival

UHN Blog: A Crusade Against Cancerous Moles

UHN Blog: A Crusade Against Cancerous Moles

The mirror never lies, no matter how much I’d like it to. The mirror is a timepiece, with each new gray hair marking another minute, and each wrinkle above my brow representing another day behind me on my life’s continuum. I see less hair where I want it, and more

On the Lookout for Basal Cell Carcinoma Symptoms

On the Lookout for Basal Cell Carcinoma Symptoms

If you’re going to invest hours in getting the perfect tan, or you work and play outdoors, spend a few minutes every now and then to check for basal cell carcinoma symptoms. You also should consider the potential damage the sun is doing to your skin and take precautions to

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