Treatment for Basal Cell Carcinoma
Did you know the most common form of cancer in the US is a type of skin cancer? Known as basal cell carcinoma (BCC), BCC is a form of nonmelanoma skin cancer that affects nearly three million Americans each year. In addition to its prevalence in the US, this form of skin cancer also affects millions of people worldwide. In fact, just a few months ago, actor Hugh Jackman recently came forth revealing to the public how 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 our board-certified dermatologist, Nancy L. Silverberg, MD. Awareness for basal cell carcinoma is critical, notes Dr. Silverberg, as a common misconception about the cancer is its lack of potential danger.
“Because it does not metastasize (spread to distant organs), people often think of basal cell carcinoma as a benign condition,” she says. “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, our dermatologists provide a number of treatment options for basal cell carcinoma based on its size, shape, location, as well as patient’s overall health. “BCC is most commonly removed surgically, either with an excision or Mohs microscopically controlled surgery,” says Dr. Silverberg. “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. People should be aware that BCC is a completely curable cancer, using one of the methods mentioned.”
For more information on skin cancer, or to schedule a consultation, please contact Silverberg Surgical & Medical Group.