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What is Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, is slow-growing, and rarely metastasizes. However, it is still considered a malignant form of cancer and can cause damage to surrounding tissue. A majority of cases of basal cell cancer show up on the face and neck, and typically appear as a shiny, pearly nodule, or a red patch similar to eczema. There are a wide variety of types of basal cell carcinomas, which can be divided into three main groups depending on the treatment methods used.

Treatment Options for Basal Cell Carcinoma

At the Dermatology and Laser Surgery Center, our dermatologists will typically begin with a skin biopsy to ensure the condition is properly diagnosed. Once it has been determined that basal cell cancer is present, there are several methods of treatment Dr. Paul Friedman can use.

The first method of treatment for basal cell carcinomas is a standard surgical excision. The affected area is surgically removed, as well as a specific margin of skin free of visible tumor growth to decrease the likelihood of the return of the cancer. The second method is known as Mohs surgery, or Mohs Micrographic surgery. This treatment method has been shown to be highly effective in treating basal cell carcinoma, and provides the most accurate and effective method for removal of cancerous cells. When treating areas such as the face, ears and neck, this method is recommended to increase the maximum preservation of healthy tissue while limiting the overall cosmetic impact. Finally, very thin and small basal cell carcinomas may also be treated with a topical chemotherapy cream known as imiquimod. This treatment will involve applying the imiquimod cream a few nights a week for a few months.