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About Basal Cell Carcinoma

What is Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Is Basal Cell Carcinoma a skin cancer?

Yes.  Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer.  It occurs over most frequently on sun-exposed regions of the body.  It can look like a scaly red patch, a pink bump that might be confused for a pimple or bug bite, or sometimes as a brown spot. Basal cell carcinomas can bleed, form an open sore, or become tender, but they are not always symptomatic. Basal cell carcinomas are usually not life-threatening. However, they can become very large and symptomatic over time.

Are certain people more at risk?

People with fair skin, light hair and blue, green or grey eyes are more at risk, but basal cell carcinomas can occur in anyone.

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How can we protect ourselves?

  • Stay out of the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM.
  • Wear protective clothing such as a broad-brimmed hat, long sleeve shirts, and pants made from fabric that has an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF).
  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all exposed skin every day, even on cloudy or winter days. Reapply your sunscreen at least every 2 hours while outdoors, or after sweating, swimming, or toweling off.
  • Wear a lip balm with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect your lips.
  • Avoid tanning salons and artificial tanning devices.
  • Regularly inspect your entire body for any skin changes.
  • Routinely visit your doctor/PA for a skin examination.

What treatments are available?

  • Mohs Micrographic Surgery
  • Excisional Surgery
  • Electrodessication and Curettage
  • Radiation therapy
  • Topical Medications
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