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Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of cancer, with about one million new cases estimated in the U.S. each year. Not only is it the most common skin cancer, but it is the most common of all types of cancer. One in four Americans is likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.
Basal cells line the deepest layer of the epidermis. The growths are malignant tumors that arise in this layer of skin. BCCs occur most frequently in sun-exposed regions of the body. Although this skin cancer rarely spreads to other organs of the body (i.e., metastasizes), it can cause the destruction of surrounding tissue. However, 5-10% of BCCs can be resistant to treatment or be locally aggressive, which damages the skin around them and sometimes invades bone and cartilage beneath. When not treated quickly, they can be difficult to eliminate. Thus early detection and treatment are needed.
After a biopsy has been taken and the diagnosis confirmed by a dermatopathologist, treatment is required. Several effective methods are available to treat this tumor. Dr. Fender, Dr. TeBockhorst or Dr. Levy’s choice of therapy depends on the size, location, and subtype of the basal cell carcinoma encountered. The patient’s age and general health are also taken into consideration. The more common treatment options include excisional surgery, electrosurgery, radiation therapy, and Mohs surgery.