Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer, with approximately 2.8 million cases diagnosed in the United States each year. It’s believed to be caused by both the cumulative effect of ultraviolet light exposure and intense ultraviolet light exposure, for example, sunburns in childhood. The five warning signs of basal cell carcinoma are: a shiny pink bump on the skin; indented pink crusted bump; a scar-like area that is new; reddish spot that feels irritated and sensitive, but does not resolve; and an open sore that does not heal.
If you’re diagnosed with a basal cell carcinoma, your provider will determine treatment based on its type, location, and size. Superficial basal cell carcinomas can be treated with topical prescription creams that recognize the cancerous cells or a scraping technique known as curettage; sometimes a surgical excision is warranted. The invasive type of basal cell carcinoma is removed by excision, a technique performed in our office with a local anesthetic. Sometimes skin cancers are located in cosmetically sensitive areas and/or are larger (infiltrating). In these cases, your provider may recommend Mohs’ micrographic surgery. We are closely allied with several highly regarded Mohs’ micrographic surgeons with whom we will coordinate your care.