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Basal Cell Carcinoma

Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center -  - Dermatologist

Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center

Dermatologists & Mohs Surgeons located in Glen Allen, VA & Chesterfield, VA

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. At Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center in Glen Allen and Chesterfield, Virginia, William Gillen, MD, and Patricia O’Connor, MD, offer treatment for this type of cancer that usually appears as a bump or pinkish patch of skin. If you suspect you have basal cell carcinoma or any form of skin cancer, contact the office right away to set up an appointment. Call either Richmond-area office to speak with a team member or send us a message to book an appointment on our contact page.

Basal Cell Carcinoma Q & A

What is basal cell carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer that usually appears in places exposed to the sun, such as your head, neck, arms, and chest. Some cases of basal cell carcinoma appear on the abdomen or legs. If not treated early, basal cell carcinoma can invade and destroy the surrounding tissues causing ulceration, pain, or itching in the tissue surrounding the original lesion. This can be especially dangerous on the face with lesions in close proximity to the eyes, mouth or ears. 

What are the signs of basal cell carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma tends to start as a small, shiny bump. It grows slowly and may take years to infiltrate surrounding tissue. It:

  • Develops on people with fair skin, but can develop even on people with darker skin tones
  • Appears after years of frequent sun exposure or indoor tanning
  • Looks like a flesh-colored, pearl-like bump or a pinkish patch of skin
  • Shows up most commonly on the head, neck, and arms, but can appear anywhere 

Early diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma dramatically increases your chances of complete treatment with the best cosmetic result. This is especially important in the sensitive locations in which this cancer tends to develop. Four million cases are diagnosed in the United States every year. Most of these will follow the above, typical presentation and slow-growing course, but there are more aggressive and fast-growing subtypes. Again, early diagnosis and treatment of the utmost importance.

What is the treatment for basal cell carcinoma?

The doctors at Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center aim to completely remove your cancer and leave as small a scar as possible. Your treatment depends on the size and location of the cancer, as well as its subtype and stage of development. These factors will determine how aggressive treatment needs to be. 

Complete removal with surgical excision using standard margins or using the Mohs surgical technique has the highest cure rates for more dangerous subtypes and on higher-risk locations. In both of these techniques, the area to be treated is locally numbed and tissue is taken for microscopic examination to ensure cancer-free margins. Dr. Gillen is a skilled Mohs surgeon who can remove basal cell carcinoma on some of the most delicate areas of your body, specifically the face, scalp, ears and lower legs where there is not as much tissue laxity or ‘wiggle room’ for standard margins.

In some less aggressive subtypes, the doctors may scrape the tumor away and use electricity to kill the cancerous cells, a treatment known as curettage and desiccation. Superficial basal cell carcinomas can also be treated using a topical immunomodulating cream. 

The team at Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center will work together and with you and your particular case to determine the treatment that’s best for you.

If you suspect a bump on your body is basal cell carcinoma, don’t hesitate to call the Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center. Call or send us a message to book an appointment on our contact page.

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