Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer that begins at the basal cells. It often affects the areas of skin that are exposed to the sun. Basal cells are small round cells found on the lower layers of epidermis (the outer layer of skin that is visible to the eye). It commonly affects the face, neck and head including the scalp. It can also occur on hands and legs.
The major cause of basal cell carcinoma is genetic mutation or damage to DNA in basal cells that occur as a result of direct exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet radiation.
- A reddish patch of skin
- A sore that does not heal
- A bump or nodule
- Whitish scar like formations
- Dark spots
- Pink colored bumps
Diagnosis of a basal cell carcinoma involves:
- Review of signs and symptoms
- Medical history
- General physical examination
- Skin examination
- Skin biopsy
Preventive measures for basal cell carcinoma involves the following steps:
- Check your skin regularly and consult the doctor if any change is noted.
- Avoid the strongest day-time sun rays.
- Avoid direct exposure to sunlight. Wear protective clothing like face masks, hand gloves, hat etc., while going out.
- Apply sunscreen regularly
Treatment of basal cell carcinoma mostly depends on the type, size and location of the cancer. Surgery is the most common and major treatment option for a basal cell carcinoma.
- Surgical excision and mohs surgery are invasive procedures to remove cancer cells
- Curettage is a treatment procedure in which the affected cells are scraped off using a tool
- Radiation therapy is a treatment procedure used to remove cancer cells using high energy beams
- Cryosurgery involves treating cancer cells using liquid nitrogen
- Chemotherapy involves use of drugs to destroy cancer cells
The above mentioned are some of the methods used in the treatment for basal cell carcinoma.
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