Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer occurring on the sun-exposed areas of the body. It is the least dangerous type of cancer, usually growing quite slowly and rarely spreading to other parts of the body. If left untreated, however, they can become increasingly more aggressive growing into the surrounding tissue and nerves and causing significant tissue destruction.
Identifying Basal Cell Cancers
BCCs have a tendency to bleed with minimal trauma like drying off on a towel and can cause irritation or discomfort when you get hot and sweaty or jump into a hot shower.
The appearance of a BCC depends on the type involved. It can look like a raised pink or pearly white bump sometimes having visible small blood vessels. Some look like brown or blue moles and others can be confused with scars. Another common variety (which is often confused with a patch of eczema, psoriasis or a rash) is flat red and slightly scaly. BCCs may also look like open sores- but they fail to heal up fully after a few weeks. Your skin cancer doctor will need to use a dermatoscope to make a confident diagnosis and may need to also perform a small biopsy before proceeding to treatment.
Treating Basal Cell Cancers
Treatment depends on the type of BCC ranging from Aldara cream or curettage to surgical excision. Your skin cancer doctor will talk with you about all the treatment options available for your particular subtype of tumour. Prognosis is excellent if the appropriate treatment is used early enough.