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5 Early Warning Signs of Basal Cell Carcinoma

Skin cancers occur due to mutations that develop in the DNA of your skin. Most often, skin cancers develop due to exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Avoiding exposure to these rays and regularly checking your skin for any unusual changes can help prevent skin cancer. This is why it is important to take abnormalities that you may see in your skin seriously and consult your healthcare provider, if needed, early on.

Basal Cell Carcinoma is a form of skin cancer that often develops on the head and neck. However, it can appear anywhere on the body. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) has a tendency to grow slowly. In rare cases, it can spread to other parts of the body and can prove to be life-threatening. BCC affects the cells of the skin in the lower part of the epidermis which is the uppermost layer of the skin. People with light skin tone, blonde hair, or skin that easily burns are more prone to develop basal cell carcinoma. Most people with this condition have a history of extensive exposure to the sun for prolonged periods of time. High levels of exposure to the sun damages DNA in skin cells which in turn can cause skin cancer.

How dangerous is basal cell carcinoma?

More than one out of every three cancers are skin cancers and the majority of them fall into this type of skin cancer each year.

Around 3.6 million Americans are diagnosed Though there is a rare chance of BCC cells spreading beyond the original tumor site. This cancer can grow deep into the skin; causing injury to nerves and blood vessels. It can even leave the affected skin tissue permanently damaged and disfigured.

Warning signs of basal cell carcinoma

arning signs of basal cell carcinoma

It all starts with a little pearly bump that looks like a flesh-toned mole or a pimple that does not go away easily. In some cases, it can look like a dark patch or you may also see shiny pink or red patches that are slightly scaly. BCC symptoms can also manifest as waxy and hard skin growth.

Research indicates that around 5.4 million cases of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are diagnosed annually in the United States among 3.3 million people. Approximately 2,000 people die from basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell cancer each year.

Disclaimer: The above data represents insights into two forms of skin cancers: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

If diagnosed in time and accurately, death rates resulting from basal cell carcinoma could be reduced. There are some common signs that will help you to understand skin abnormalities better and help prevent skin damage and enable early detection.

Warning sign 1

A pink or red lump with a dip in the center, which can be mistaken for a minor skin injury or scar.

Warning sign 2

A scaly patch that might itch and look like a minor scar or injury. It often develops on or near the ear.

Warning sign 3

A round growth that may look similar to your color tone and can be mistaken for a mole or a wart.

Warning sign 4

Pinkish skin that appears suddenly and has a crusty hollow in the center with a raised boundary all around.

Warning sign 5

A skin abnormality that looks like a normal scar may appear without an underlying reason like an injury or burn. 

Treatment

Treatment

With early detection of signs that point towards BCC growth, you can avoid early damage to your skin. Many medical oncologists can tell at first glance if your skin condition is a BCC or not. The choice of treatment depends on many things including the patient's health and age, and the level of cancer.

The diagnosis of BCC generally includes clinical and dermoscopic examination (a non-invasive technique for inspecting pigmented skin lesions). Your doctor will take a sample of the growing cancer cell in a process called a biopsy. The process may require numbing the area and removing some of the skin to get it tested for cancer cells.

Report changes to your doctor

It is better to get treatment from trained medical oncologists who understand your medical history. Trained cancer specialists can recommend what treatments will be suitable according to your skin type, age, and conditions. Advanced Cancer Treatment Centers can help in providing personalized care for cancer fighters through radiation treatment or chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and hormone therapy. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to effective prognosis. When you catch it early, your healthcare provider or medical oncologist can treat basal cell carcinoma efficiently and in less downtime for recovery. 

If you have any questions or wish to schedule an appointment, call 352-345-4565 or follow this link to request an appointment online.

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