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  You are at: Procedure info > Skin Cancer > Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment
   
   

Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the options for Basal Cell Carcinoma (rodent ulcer) treatment?

Often, a specialist can diagnose a Basal Cell Carcinoma with confidence and proceed with treatment. Occasionally, the diagnosis is not obvious and a biopsy is needed - a small sample is taken and sent to a lab, and treatment decided according to the results. If the growth is confirmed as Basal Cell Carcinoma then there are a number of treatment options, including:

  • Surgery - this is probably one of the most common treatment methods for Basal Cell Carcinoma. The tumour is removed, often under local anaesthetic, and sent to the lab for confirmation of diagnosis. An extra margin of normal-looking skin is also taken at the same time to try and ensure that all the carcinoma is removed. If the area is relatively small, the skin can usually be closed with stitches. Larger areas may need a skin graft or other procedure to provide skin cover. Click to look at our list of skin cancer surgeons near you

  • Mohs surgery - this is a form of treatment whereby small samples of the basal cell carcinoma are removed and examined. The process is continued until all the carcinoma has been removed. This treatment can sometimes result in less normal tissue being removed than in standard surgery, but does often need multiple visits to the operating theatre. For this reason, Mohs surgery is often reserved for only certain cases. To read more about Mohs surgery please click here.

  • Curettage - small basal cell carcinomas may be 'scraped away' under local anaesthetic, leaving a barely noticeable scar. The disadvantage of this treatment method is that there will often be no sample to send to the lab, and recurrence rates may be higher.

  • Radiotherapy - some basal cell carcinomas may be treated with radiotherapy, which is generally painless. Radiation treatment can affect the skin, however, with ulceration and scarring occurring over the following years - for this reason, younger people with basal cell carcinoma are usually not suitable for treatment by radiotherapy. Older people that are unfit for surgery, or those with very large carcinomas tend to benefit the most from this form of treatment.

  • Cryotherapy - this treatment method can be used on very thin basal cell carcinomas, leaving little scarring. Cryotherapy is usually administered as a spray that freezes the carcinoma - the skin will blister, then the tumour will hopefully 'fall away', leaving tumour-free healthy skin.

  • Skin cream - there are a number of creams that can be applied regularly to the affected areas, resulting in the top layer of skin being 'burnt off', together with the basal cell carcinoma. New creams stimulate the bodys' immune system to fight off the carcinomas, and seem very promising in their effectiveness. Only small, thin basal cell carcinomas may benefit from this treatment

 

The final treatment option will often depend on the carcinoma type, body area and of course patient preference. Your specialist will be able to discuss treatment options with you.

 

Click to learn how and why Basal Cell Carcinomas form

Click to see pictures of Basal Cell Carcinomas

Click to read a 'real experience' of Basal Cell Carcinoma treatment

 

Any procedure involving skin incision can also result in unfavourable scarring, wound infection, or bleeding. This list of risks is not exhaustive, and you should discuss possible complications with your specialist. Whilst these risks will seem very worrysome, and indeed can be serious, it should also be borne in mind that many people have no postoperative problems whatsoever.

The information provided is as a guide only and you should discuss matters fully with your specialist before deciding if this is the right procedure for you. Please also read our disclaimer

 

 
 
 
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