Sunday, October 13, 2019

BASAL CELL CARCINOMA: Complete Cancer Guide

Basal cell carcinoma or basal cell skin cancer is a type of skin cancer which occurs most often on areas exposed to the sun, especially the face, head, and neck. Basal cell carcinoma can take many forms but it usually appears as a slightly transparent bump, growth or a sore that won't heal.

Basal cell carcinoma begins in the basal cells. Basal cells are cells within the skin that produces new skin cells as old ones die off. Mostly basal cell carcinoma is caused by long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight. Rarely, basal cell carcinoma can develop on parts of your body usually protected from the sun, such as the genitals.

(2) How much does it cost to have a basal cell carcinoma removed?
Mohs surgery is around 7,000$ for three stages, or $3,000 +/-$500 for one stage; and excision is usually a lot less.

(3) What is the cure rate for basal cell carcinoma?
The five year cure rate with Mohs' micrographic surgery is up to 95% for recurrent basal cell carcinoma and 99% for primary tumor.

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(4) What are the symptoms of basal cell carcinoma?

Symptoms of Basal Cell Carcinoma/ Basal Cell Skin Cancer:


  1. Lesion with dark spots,
  2. Raised reddish itchy patches,
  3. Brown, blue or black lesion,
  4. Scar like flat, firm, pale or yellow areas,
  5. Scaly reddish patches with a raised edges,
  6. Open sores that don’t heal, or that recur after healing,
  7. Pink growths with raised edges and lower in their center,
  8. White, waxy, scar-like lesion without a clearly defined border,
  9. Pear shaped white, pink, or skin-colored bump that is translucent,
  10. Small, pink or red, translucent, shiny bumps, which might have blue, brown, or black areas


(5) Does basal cell carcinoma run families? Is Basal cell skin cancer genetic?
Are basal cell carcinomas hereditary?
Apart from a rare familial condition called Gorlin's syndrome, Basal cell carcinomas BCCs are not hereditary. Several hereditary syndromes and genes are also associated with an increased risk of Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Some conditions that lead to BCC might be inherited such as a fair skin, sunburn tendencies, and freckling.

(6) How to reduce your risk of basal cell carcinoma?
Reduce the risks of basal cell carcinoma by following:

  • (1) Wear protective clothes.
  • (2) Use a broad-brimmed hat.
  • (3) Apply sunscreen generously on your skin.
  • (4) Cover your arms and legs with dark, tightly woven clothes.
  • (5) Avoid baseball cap or visor as it doesn’t provide much protection.
  • (6) Check your skin regularly and report changes to your healthcare provider.
  • (7) Avoid the sun during the middle of the day between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • (8) Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even on cloudy days.
  • (9) Use such sunglasses that block both types of UV radiation, UVA radiation and UVB rays.
  • (10) Tanning beds are harmful as they emit UV rays and can increase your risk of skin cancer. So avoid them.
  • (11) Reapply sunscreen after every two hours or more during swimming or perspiring.
  • (12) Examine your skin regularly in a mirror and check for new skin growths or changes in existing moles, freckles, bumps and birthmarks.


(7) What is the prognosis for basal cell carcinoma/ bcc skin cancer?
If basal cell carcinoma is diagnosed early, then there are more chances of survival.
Basal cell carcinoma has 85% to 95% recurrence free cure rate with modern treatment options. Radiotherapy is a useful treatment that is generally used for elderly patients.

(8) What does basal cell carcinoma skin cancer look like?
At first, Basal cell skin cancer appears as a change in the skin, such as a growth or a sore that won't heal. It appears like a small "pearly" bump that looks like a flesh-colored mole or a pimple. You can see a bit through the surface of this pearly bump as it is translucent. Sometimes these cancer growths may look dark or shiny pink or red patches that are slightly scaly. You must also be concerned when you see a waxy, hard skin growth.

Basal Cell SkinCancer
Basal Cell Carcinoma


(9) What are the risk factors associated with Basal cell carcinoma cancer?

Risk factors of basal cell cancer:


  • (1) Longtime exposure to sun is considered major risk factor
  • (2) Commercial tanning beds increase the risk of basal cell carcinoma. Commercial tanning lamps and tanning beds may also cause the basal cell carcinoma.
  • (3) Severe sunburns also increase your risk of developing skin cancers
  • (4) People who have very fair skin, light skin, red or blond hair, or light-colored eyes
  • (5) The risk of basal cell carcinoma is higher among people who freckle or burn easily
  • (6) Majority of basal cell carcinomas occur in older adults. So age is an important factor
  • (7) Some immunosuppressant drugs significantly increase your risk of skin cancer
  • (8) Drinking arsenic contaminated well water may cause basal cell carcinoma
  • (9) The risk of developing basal cell cancer is greater if you live in a sunny or high-altitude location
  • (10) Exposure to arsenic increases the risk of basal cell carcinoma and other cancers
  • (11) Radiation therapy to treat acne or other skin conditions may increase the risk of basal cell carcinoma
  • (12) If you've had basal cell carcinoma one or more times, you have a greater chance of developing it again
  • (13) Anti-rejection drugs used after transplant surgery may develop basal cell carcinoma cancer
  • (14) People who have a job that involves produces or uses arsenic may develop this cancer
  • (15) If you have a family history of skin cancer, you may have an increased risk of developing basal cell carcinoma
  • (16) Certain rare genetic diseases or inherited syndromes can increase the risk of basal cell carcinoma. Xeroderma pigmentosum and Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (Gorlin-Goltz syndrome) may cause basal cell carcinoma.


(10) Can you leave basal cell carcinoma untreated?

What happens if Basal cell carcinoma is left untreated?

Basal cell carcinoma rarely spreads to other parts of the body. If left untreated, basal cell carcinomas can become quite large. It can grow into nearby areas and invade the bone, other tissues beneath the skin or spread to other parts of the body and cause death. Basal cell carcinoma has a high cure rate however. This type of skin cancer needs to be treated early and If not removed completely, basal cell carcinoma can recur in the same place on the skin.

(11) Can you die from basal cell skin cancer?

Will I die from basal cell carcinoma?
About 2,000 people die from basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer each year. Basal cell carcinoma rarely spreads to other parts of the body. This type of skin cancer has a high cure rate. If left untreated, basal cell carcinomas can become quite large and spreads to other parts of the body. About 80% of non-melanoma skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma.

(12) What is the survival rate for basal cell carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinomas are curable if diagnosed early and treated properly. The 5 year survival rates for people whose melanoma is diagnosed and treated early before spreading to the lymph nodes are 99%.

(13) What are the complications of basal cell carcinoma?

Complications of basal cell carcinoma:


  • (1) Basal cell carcinoma may increase the chance of developing other types of skin cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
  • (2) Basal cell carcinomas commonly recur, even after successful treatment.
  • (3) Basal cell carcinoma can spread to nearby lymph nodes and other areas of the body, such as the bones and lungs but rarely.


(14) Does basal cell carcinoma need to be removed?
In cosmetically important areas, basal cell carcinoma removal disfigures the skin. However, it can be cured when diagnosed early. Basal cell carcinoma rarely metastasizes into body.

(15) Does basal cell carcinoma hurt?
Skin cancers usually do not cause pain. They are painful and irritating at advance stages. But normally, they are detected before they go into such stage. Typically they can be seen or felt long before they reach this point. But at advanced stage, they may itch, bleed, or even hurt.

(16) Does basal cell carcinoma increase risk for other cancers?
People who develop basal cell carcinoma are at greater risks of developing of other type of cancers, including blood, colon, breast, and prostate cancers.

(17) How quickly does basal cell carcinoma grow?
The tumors grow so slowly that they go undetected. Some tumors can grow as much as ½ inch (about 1 centimeter) in a year.  The growth rate varies greatly from tumor to tumor. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) rarely metastasizes to other parts of the body.

(18) What organs does basal cell carcinoma affect?
About 90% of cancers are carcinomas that affect epithelial cells. Carcinomas can affect areas of the body other than the skin. Epithelial tissue is also present in the digestive tract, breasts, intestines, blood vessels, bladder, and other organs. Thus carcinomas may affect these organs too if cancer cells in a tumor metastasize.

(19) Is Basal cell skin cancer life threatening?
Basal cell carcinomas are the least dangerous of skin cancers. They rarely grow metastasize to other organs. But the main problem with them is that even when they appear small, they may invade deeper into the skin. This condition makes them dangerous.

(20) Are there stages of basal cell carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma is seldom staged. All other cancers are staged cancers. Cancer stages are measured on the parameters of spreading to other parts of body from their site of origination. It is highly unlikely for basal cell carcinoma to spread, so it is not staged cancer.

(21) How long does basal cell carcinoma take to spread?
Basal cell carcinomas rarely spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body and the growth rate of BCC varies greatly from tumor to tumor. Mostly, BCC tumors enlarge very slowly so that they go unnoticed as new growths or lumps. Some tumors however grow as much as ½ inch or about 1 centimeter in a year.

(22) Does basal cell carcinoma appear suddenly?
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. Signs of basal cell carcinoma include a new growth or bump that is skin colored, pink, or shiny. The tumor growth can develop slowly or appear suddenly anywhere on skin.

(23) Which is worse basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer?
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common of all cancers and accounts for more than 90 % of all skin cancers in the United States. Basal cell carcinoma is a slow-growing cancer that seldom spreads to other parts of the body.

Major difference between basal cell and squamous cell cancers is that squamous cell cancers are more likely to grow deeper into the layers of your skin. The other main difference is that squamous cell cancers spread more than basal cell carcinoma.

(24) How does basal cell carcinoma spread?

Can basal cell carcinoma spread under skin?
Basal cell carcinoma is unlikely to spread from skin to other parts of body. However it may spread into bone or other tissue under skin. So, if basal cell carcinoma is left untreated then it can spread deeper into skin and other organs of the body.

(25) How often does basal cell metastasis?
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the skin metastasizes very rarely. Its metastasis ranges between 0.0028 and 0.55 of all BCC cases. Basal cell carcinoma accounts for 80% of all non-melanoma skin cancers.

(26) Is basal cell carcinoma malignant or benign?
The majority of skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas and squamous cells carcinomas.
A small but significant number of skin cancers are malignant melanomas. While malignant, basal cell carcinomas are unlikely to spread to other parts of the body..

(27) Is Basal Cell Carcinoma serious?
Basal cell carcinomas are the least dangerous of all skin cancers as they rarely metastasize. You can bear them until they become too itchy or bleeding. Otherwise, they barely appear to grow or change for years.

(28) Can a basal cell carcinoma go away on its own?
Many keratoacanthomas shrink or even go away on their own. But some continue to grow, and may even spread to other parts of the body. Growth of basal cell carcinoma is very difficult to predict so skin cancer doctors treat them as squamous cell skin cancer.

(29) Can basal cell carcinoma come back?
After removal, basal cell carcinoma does recur at some other spot on the body in about 40% of people. Routine skin checkup or examinations can find recurring cancers while they are still very small.

(30) Is Basal Cell Carcinoma really cancer?
Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer which begins in the basal cells — a type of cell within the skin that produces new skin cells.

(31) Does basal cell carcinoma pop like a pimple?
At first, a basal cell carcinoma appears as pearly shaped bump. This skin growth or bump looks like a pimple or a skin-colored mole that doesn't go away. Basal cell carcinomas may sometimes look dark, shiny pink or red patches.

(32) Is surgery necessary for basal cell carcinoma?
Different types of surgery can be used to treat basal cell carcinomas. Mohs surgery has the best cure rate for basal cell carcinomas. Electrodesiccation and Curettage are a common treatment for small basal cell carcinomas. This type of treatment might be repeated to help remove all of the cancer.

(33) When to see your doctor if you doubt you have Basal cell carcinoma cancer?
If you feel changes in the appearance of your skin such like a new lump or growth then contact your dermatologist. If you also a feel a change in a previous growth or a recurring sore, then it is worrisome situation that you are developing basal cell skin cancer.

(34) How does Basal cell carcinoma skin cancer develop?

How do you get basal cell skin cancer? How is basal cell carcinoma caused?

What is the cause of basal cell carcinoma skin cancer?

Basal cells are found at the bottom of the epidermis. Basal cells produce new skin cells and push older cells toward the skin's surface, where the old cells die and are sloughed off. The process of creation of new skin cells is controlled by the DNA of basal cell.

Basal cell carcinoma occurs when one of the skin's basal cells develops a mutation in its DNA. The mutation tells the basal cell to multiply speedily and continue growth. These accumulating abnormal cells form a tumor. These tumors may then convert into lesions and finally into basal cell skin cancer.

It is thought that most of the damage to DNA in basal cells is due to ultraviolet (UV) radiation found in sunlight. Commercial tanning lamps and tanning beds may also cause the basal cell carcinoma.


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