Basal cell carcinoma is unlikely to spread throughout your body, but it can cause lots of damage to your skin, tissues, and even bone in the region if you forgo treatment. At Texas Skin Cancer Center in Kingwood, Pearland, and Houston, Texas, Joseph Sedrak, MD, specializes in diagnosing and treating basal cell carcinoma before it does a lot of damage. Book an appointment by phone or online to learn more about basal cell carcinoma and available treatments today.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer type and affects the basal cells in your skin. The basal cells are one of three common cell types within your skin’s top layer and are responsible for producing new skin cells as you shed old cells.
Ultraviolet (UV) light can damage the DNA within your basal cells and cause them to mutate. When they mutate, they begin to grow abnormally. You can reduce your risk of this happening by using sunscreen, wearing clothes and hats that shade your skin from the sun, and avoiding tanning beds altogether.
Basal cell carcinoma commonly occurs in areas that get more sun exposure than others, like your face, arms, or neck. Skin affected by basal cell carcinoma changes in appearance, causing you to develop a patch, bump, or lesion. Basal cell carcinoma might look like:
If you notice any new, changing, or unusual growths on your skin, you should book an appointment for a skin cancer evaluation at Texas Skin Cancer Center. Dr. Sedrak physically examines you, asks for information about your lifestyle and family history, and may take a biopsy of the lesion if it seems cancerous.
With a basal cell carcinoma diagnosis, you have several options for treatment. Dr. Sedrak recommends treatments based on the type of cancer you have and the stage that it’s in. For basal cell carcinoma, he might suggest:
For this technique, Dr. Sedrak scrapes the growth off your skin before burning it with an electric needle. Burning the area kills any remaining cancerous cells once the growth is gone.
Dr. Sedrak specializes in Mohs surgery, a delicate skin surgery that removes small parts of a tumor at a time. He removes and examines thin layers of your tumor in a lab, repeating the process until a sample shows no more cancerous cells. This method minimizes scarring.
For cryotherapy, Dr. Sedrak freezes your basal cell carcinoma with liquid nitrogen. He might repeat the process to make sure it kills as many cancerous cells as possible.
Topical therapy involves topical chemotherapy drugs or photodynamic therapy. This is often the best option for small basal cell carcinoma tumors that are superficial in your skin.
If your basal cell carcinoma is large, extensive, or hard to reach, Dr. Sedrak might recommend radiation therapy or a combination of surgery and radiation therapy.
Basal cell carcinoma can do some damage to your skin, but many successful treatment options are available. Book your consultation by phone or online at Texas Skin Cancer Center today.