Cancer Treatment Options For Basal Cell Carcinoma

Posted on: 14 February 2022

Basal cell carcinoma is a common type of skin cancer that typically affects adults. It is a slow-growing type of skin cancer that typically does not metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body. Basal cell skin cancer is most often caused by excessive sun exposure and it typically develops on the head, face, and neck. While most basal cell carcinoma skin cancers typically do not metastasize, they need to be examined and treated, since they are classified as cancers. With early detection and treatment, the prognosis for basal cell carcinoma is excellent. Here are some effective cancer treatment options to consider if you have been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma. 

Excisional Surgery 

One of the most common surgical procedures for basal cell carcinoma is excisional surgery. This surgery removes the basal cell tumor from the skin and also removes any underlying tissue. After the skin cancer and underlying tissue have been removed, the sample will be sent to the pathology laboratory where it will be examined under a microscope. The pathologist will examine the tissue sample for abnormal cellular changes and will assess the margins to determine if they are clear of any additional malignant cells.

Excisional surgery for basal cell carcinoma is usually performed in the dermatologist's office using a local anesthetic such as lidocaine. It is important to note, however, that if the cancerous lesion is large, general anesthesia may be warranted, which means that you will not be awake during the procedure. 

Electrodesiccation And Curettage

Another commonly used cancer treatment option for basal cell carcinoma is the electrodesiccation and curettage procedure. During this surgery, the physician scapes the tumor from the skin using a bladed instrument known as a curette. If the tumor is large, the surgeon will use a larger-sized blade to remove the bulk of the tumor and then switch to a smaller-sized bladed curette to excise the smaller parts of the tumor.

This procedure has a very high success rate, and like excisional surgery, a local anesthetic is used. While the electrodesiccation and curettage cancer treatment option is well-tolerated and considered safe, it may be contraindicated for patients who have embedded cardiac pacemakers or invasive basal cell tumors.

If you develop any unusual skin changes, make an appointment with a dermatologist for a comprehensive skin evaluation. When skin cancer is diagnosed and treated early, you may be more likely to enjoy an excellent prognosis that may include a complete cure.