FAQ: Basal Cell Carcinoma
A basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer. It is usually slow growing with a low risk of spread to other areas of the body. The most likely risk is local reactions with disfiguration, ulceration, bleeding, pain. They arise in the skin’s basal cells, which line the deepest layer of the epidermis.
This is a skin cancer
You and your doctor will discuss the recommended treatment depending upon the location, size and type of BCC that you have.
Yes it does need to be treated to avoid potential complications and spread
The risks include disfigurement, ulceration, bleeding, pain and spread to other parts of the body potentially becoming life threatening
Yes, both long term sun exposure over your life time and occasional intense exposures (sunburn) combine to cause damage that can lead to Basal Cell Carcinomas. It is important to use sun protection going forward to help prevent further damage.
If you have a history of BCC you have a good chance of developing it again. If you have a family history of skin cancer, you may have an increased risk of developing BCC
Surgical options include curette and desiccation (scrape and burn), excision, and Mohs micrographic surgery which is indicated for cancers on the face and certain subtypes of BCC.
Non-surgical options include radiation and topical chemotherapy cream is indicated in the treatment of superficial BCCs.
Your doctor will let you know the specific treatment that is best for you.
We recommend treatment within 4-6 weeks.
Risks of the surgical treatments include infection, bleeding and scar. For the non surgical treatments, you can also have a risk of infection, and scar as well as rashes from topical creams.
Depending upon the type and location of the BCC, as well as the treatment used, recurrence rates vary. There is typically a 85-95% cure rate seen.