Newport Beach Dermatologist Shares Advice for Most Common Form of Skin Cancer
Dr. Nancy L. Silverberg, a board-certified dermatologist in Newport Beach, discusses treatment options and prevention tips for basal cell carcinoma, the most commonly occurring form of skin cancer.
Newport Beach, CA – As the most frequently occurring form of all cancers (according to the Skin Cancer Foundation), basal cell carcinoma is a type of nonmelanoma skin cancer that results from long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Each year in the U.S., approximately 2.8 million cases of basal cell carcinoma are diagnosed, also making it the most frequently occurring type of skin cancer.
Basal cell carcinoma is an abnormal growth that arises in the superficial layer of the skin (the basal layer of the epidermis). The growths are likely to manifest on areas of the skin that are most often exposed to the sun – such as the face, scalp, and neck – but can also appear on other parts of the body. Basal cell carcinomas typically look like a pink or red bump, often with a translucent quality, notes board-certified Newport Beach dermatologist Nancy L. Silverberg, MD, and they can sometimes bleed, scab, or form an ulcer that does not heal.
In a recent blog post, “Treatment for Basal Cell Carcinoma,” Dr.Silverberg explains that despite being a less aggressive form of skin cancer, many Americans do not realize that if left untreated, basal cell carcinoma can be extremely damaging:
“People should be aware that basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a completely curable cancer. However, because it does not metastasize (spread to distant organs), people often think of BCC as a benign condition. This is absolutely not true. When BCC is left untreated, it will inexorably grow and can become locally destructive, invading into cartilage and bone. We have seen many patients lose parts of their nose, ears, and lips when BCC have been left unattended, so this is a condition to be taken very seriously.”
At Silverberg Surgical & Medical Group, Dr. Silverberg’s cosmetic and medical dermatology practice, the Newport Beach dermatologist explains that she treats basal cell carcinoma using a variety of methods depending on its size, shape, and location. “BCC is most commonly removed surgically, either with an excision or Mohs microscopically controlled surgery,” she says. “Sometimes it’s treated by a scraping and burning procedure called ‘curettage and desiccation.’ On occasion, a cream can be used to destroy the cancer cells. Rarely, BCC can be treated with radiation.”
Increased awareness of the skin cancer was somewhat recently brought forth when actor Hugh Jackman revealed he had a basal cell carcinoma removed from his nose. “When a public figure develops a skin cancer, it often increases public awareness of that condition and spurs people to have their skin checked by a dermatologist,” says Dr. Silverberg.
To help reduce the risk of developing skin cancer, Dr. Silverberg advises the following:
- Wear sunscreen year-round (SPF greater than 30)
- Wear protective clothing, such as long sleeves and hats, when exposed to UV rays
- Avoid being outside between the hours of 10am and 3pm
- Avoid using tanning booths
- Perform periodic self skin-examinations
- Talk with your dermatologist about a screening
In addition to practicing good sun protection habits, Dr. Silverberg also stresses the importance of seeking the professional opinion of a dermatologist whenever symptoms are present.
About Nancy L. Silverberg, MD
Board-certified dermatologist Nancy L. Silverberg, MD has more than 22 years of expertise in medical and cosmetic dermatology. She received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and earned her medical degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine, both with honors. Dr. Silverberg is as an Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at University California Irvine, and previously served as Chairman of Dermatology for Hoag Hospital Newport Beach. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, Diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology, and Fellow of American Society for Mohs Surgery, among numerous other medical organizations.
To learn more about Silverberg Surgical & Medical Group, please visit silverbergmd.com and facebook.com/silverbergmd.
Silverberg Surgical & Medical Group
1401 Avocado Avenue, Suite 703
Newport Beach, CA 92660