Basal Cell Carcinoma is the least risky type of skin cancer, which appears on parts of your skin that are exposed to the sun a lot. Basal cells present in the skin produce new skin cells to replace the old ones. They are found in the lower part of the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of the skin. It is also called Basal Cell Skin Cancer.
This type of carcinoma occurs when there is a mutation in the DNA of the skin’s basal cells. The DNA is responsible for giving instructions to a cell about its growth. When a mutation enters this system, it tells the older basal cells to continuously grow and multiply rapidly, instead of dying. This leads to an accumulation of abnormal cells that could result in the formation of a cancerous tumor.
Basal Cell Carcinoma typically appears on sun-exposed body parts like your face, shoulders, arms, and neck. Sometimes, it can also spread to other parts of the body protected from the sun, like the genitals. Symptoms include:
The lesions can be in the form of sores, patches, bumps, and pink growths that can be slightly elevated or have smooth edges. In patients with dark skin, at least half the Basal Cell Carcinomas are pigmented (brown or black). The carcinoma cells look different on different people and may bleed or itch or be crusty in nature.
Individuals could be at a higher risk for Basal Cell Carcinoma if:
To assess the changes in your skin, a dermatologist (skin specialist) will first conduct a general physical exam and ask you about your medical history, changes in the skin, and any other signs you may be experiencing. This could range from when you first noticed the lesions to the precautions you take to stay safe in the sun. The rest of your body will also need to be checked for other abnormal growths.
Post this, a skin biopsy is conducted, which involves taking your skin sample and examining it in a laboratory. This helps the doctor ascertain whether you have skin cancer and, if yes, what type it could be.
The type of treatment depends on the location, type, and size of the cancer present. Your overall health and biopsy results will also influence the main treatment plan. It can also change if it is a recurring Basal Cell Carcinoma. The various treatment methods are:
In some rare cases, Basal Cell Carcinoma can spread to nearby lymph nodes as well as other parts of the body. Additional treatment options include Chemotherapy (aggressive use of drugs to destroy cancer cells) and Targeted Drug Therapy (specific drugs are used to block the molecular signals that instruct the cancers to keep growing). Newer treatments for deep Basal Cell Carcinoma are being studied in clinical trials.
Some complications include:
To reduce the risk of contracting Basal Cell Carcinoma, you should:
Basal Cell Carcinoma is the least risky type of skin cancer and can be cured easily if caught early. It rarely spreads to other parts of the body.
If you are facing any similar signs or symptoms please contact the Nanavati Max team to schedule an appointment at : +91 22 6836 0000