Basal cell carcinomas are cancerous growths or lesions that occur within the basal cells. These basal cells are located in the uppermost layer of the skin.
Approximately three million cases of basal cell carcinoma are diagnosed every year. Basal cell carcinoma is the most frequently occurring form of skin cancer, and the most commonly contracted cancer overall. Because so many people develop basal cell carcinoma, it’s important to make yourself aware of the associated risk factors, warning signs, prevention methods, and treatment options.
Causes & Risk Factors
Basal cell carcinoma is most commonly caused by periodic exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Because of this, people who live in places that are closer to the equator have a greater chance of developing basal cell carcinomas. While most cases of basal cell carcinoma develop because of sun exposure, it can also form as the result of frequent tanning bed use, or exposure to arsenic and radiation.
Certain people have a greater risk of developing basal cell carcinoma than others. Factors that may increase this risk include:
- Blue, green, or grey eyes
- Blonde or red hair
- Fair skin
Individuals aged 50 and older are also more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma because their skin has been exposed to the sun for longer than their younger counterparts. Men are also more likely to develop it than women.
Signs & Symptoms
Basal cell carcinoma most often looks like other skin disorders, such as psoriasis and eczema. Because of this, it’s vital that you have anything you suspect could be skin cancer examined by a doctor to rule out the possibility completely.
Pay close attention to:
- Open sores that don’t heal
- Reddish patches
- Irritated areas
- Shiny bumps or nodules
- Pink growths
- Scar-like areas
- Waxy bumps
- Flat, scaly, brown flesh-covered patches of skin
If you notice any of these signs, do not hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment.
There are some steps you can take to help protect yourself from basal cell carcinoma. Taking the following precautions can help lower your chances of developing it:
- Avoid the midday sun
- Always wear sunscreen that has an SPF over 15
- Avoid tanning beds
- Wear protective clothing
- Regular skin screenings
While taking these steps can’t completely guarantee that you won’t develop basal cell carcinoma, they can greatly lower your chances.
There are a number of treatments available to combat basal cell carcinoma. If you are diagnosed, your doctor can determine which treatment method is best suited for you based on the location and progression of your basal cell carcinoma.
Our treatments include:
If you suspect that you may have basal cell carcinoma, schedule a consultation with us today. Because basal cell carcinoma is so easy to diagnose and treat, prolonging this appointment only harms you in the long run. Our trained doctors can determine if your growths are cancerous, and get you started on treatment to clear them up as quickly as possible.