Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment
Dr. Beal is an expert in Mohs Surgery, which has greater than a 99% cure rate for most skin cancers.
What is Basal Cell Carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer. Over 4 million new cases of basal cell carcinoma are diagnosed annually.
Basal cell carcinoma is an abnormal growth of the basal cell of your skin. Basal cell carcinoma does not spread (metastasize) to other parts of your body. Basal cell carcinomas never stop growing, so even though they do not spread, it does not mean they cannot cause death or severe disfigurement if left untreated. When treated early with appropriate treatment, basal cell carcinoma cure rates are 99%.
What does basal cell carcinoma look like?
Basal cell carcinomas most often affect areas of the skin with lots of sun exposure such as the face, neck, and ears. However, basal cell carcinomas can occur in many other areas of the skin. This type of skin cancer often looks like a pimple, non-healing scab on a sun-exposed area of your body, or non-healing ulcer/sore.
Pimples and scratches typically heal within four weeks. Skin cancer does not heal because the cells are abnormal. If you have a non-healing spot or pimple, and it has been more than four weeks, you should call your dermatologist to have this spot examined.
It is imperative to note that while these characteristics are some of the most common signs of basal cell carcinoma, there is no substitute for your skin concern being examined in person by a Board-Certified Dermatologist. This is the gold standard for having any of your skin concerns addressed. Your Board-Certified Dermatologist will perform a comprehensive examination and is the expert when it comes to diagnosing and treating skin cancers.
What causes basal cell carcinoma?
Most basal cell carcinoma cancers are caused by:
- Cumulative sun exposure over your entire life
- Tanning beds or sunlamps
How is basal cell carcinoma diagnosed?
Basal cell carcinoma is diagnosed with a skin biopsy. A skin biopsy is a minor procedure where your dermatologist will numb the area and then take a sample of your lesion. This sample is examined microscopically for skin cancer cells. If skin cancer cells are seen, further treatment is required.
What is the best treatment for basal cell carcinoma?
The best treatment for basal cell carcinoma depends on several factors: the type of basal cell carcinoma, the location of the skin cancer, your health, and medical conditions. Your dermatologist can assess your skin cancer and come up with individualized treatment to meet your goals and specific needs.
When appropriate, Mohs surgery is the treatment that offers the highest cure rate amongst all treatments. 99% of all basal cell carcinomas can be cured with Mohs Surgery. Mohs surgery is a technique that preserves your healthy skin, only removing the skin cancer, and thereby minimizing scaring and maximizing your cosmetic outcome. Mohs surgery is the most advanced treatment for basal cell carcinoma.
When is it appropriate to treat a BCC with Mohs Surgery?
- If it is located on your face, neck, scalp, hands, feet, or shins (any size or type)
- If it is an aggressive subtype of basal cell carcinoma
- If it is greater than 2 cm (0.78 inches) located anywhere on your body
Did you know:
- Once you have been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, your risk to develop a 2nd skin cancer within the next 5 years is 50%
- You can use your smartphone to take photos of your skin to document your moles, both how they look and their location. Then, if in the future you are concerned a spot changed, you can refer back to those high-quality photos.
- Click here for link to how to take high quality photos for your skin doctor.
Brandon T. Beal, MD
Brandon T. Beal, MD is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. He is a Board-Certified Dermatologist, and Fellowship trained Mohs Micrographic Surgeon, dermatologic oncologist (cancer doctor of the skin), and facial reconstructive surgeon.
Dr. Beal completed his dermatology residency at the Cleveland Clinic Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Institute and his fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery, dermatologic oncology, and facial reconstructive surgery at Zitelli & Brodland, PC. Dr. Beal trained at the Cleveland Clinic’s Melanoma program, a multidisciplinary team of dermatopathologists, pathologists, dermatologists, and surgical, medical, and radiation oncologists.
Dr. Beal provides each patient comprehensive counseling on the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer, a thorough skin examination from head to toe, and an individualized treatment plan based on evidenced-based medicine. Dr. Beal is an expert in Micrographic Surgery (Mohs Surgery) which is the treatment that provides the highest cure rates, greater than 99% for most skin cancers. He follows the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines as well as the American Joint Committee on Cancer staging guidelines.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery is the treatment that offers the highest surgical cure rate amongst all treatments for skin cancer. Mohs surgery is a technique that preserves your normal skin, focusing on just removing the skin cancer, and thereby minimizing scaring and maximizing your cosmetic outcome. Mohs Micrographic surgery is the most advanced treatment for skin cancer.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery is the only surgical technique that examines 100% of the margin (edges) of the specimen (skin cancer) that is removed. Meaning, 100% of the side and bottom edges of the specimen are examined microscopically to ensure there are no skin cancer cells at the edges. This provides patients with the highest cure rates, smallest scars, and best cosmetic outcomes for their skin cancer.