Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. Millions of cases are diagnosed in the United States annually. Learn more about Basal skin carcinoma treatment, causes, and symptoms below.

What Basal Cell Carcinoma looks like on a microscopic level
Photo By Nephron – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

What is Basal Cell Carcinoma?

The most identifiable of Basal cell cancer’s symptoms are growths, which emerge on the skin’s surface. They can have a contrasting appearance on different people, but usually look like open sores, red patches, or scars. Basal cell carcinoma is almost always localized to the spot where the tumor has developed and isn’t typically life-threatening, but there are some rare instances where it has been known to spread and become an even bigger problem. It can also move into the bone or tissue near the growth site. Basal cell carcinoma can appear anywhere on the body, with the most frequent place being the face.


The sun and tanning beds are the most well-known causes of basal cell carcinoma. It can take years for it to show up, generally after long-term exposure to ultraviolet rays. Those with fair skin are more vulnerable to the progression of skin cancer. To prevent cancerous cells from forming or coming back once they’ve been taken care of, it’s essential to stay out of the sun as much as possible, use plenty of sunscreen, and wear clothes that cover the body.

Basal Skin Carcinoma Treatment

Though it doesn’t come with as much risk as other types of skin cancers, it’s still important to catch basal cell cancer symptoms early and seek immediate treatment. There are a few different ways your doctor may suggest eliminating the growths.

  • They can be cut out, or excised, which involves removing the tumor and some skin around it.
  • Your doctor may also mention the possibility of scraping the tumor away and using an electric needle to kill the cancer cells from the area. This procedure is known as curettage and electrodesiccation.
  • Cryosurgery is another option that destroys the cancer cells and tumor tissue by freezing them with liquid nitrogen.
  • Radiation therapy is performed over a few weeks, using x-ray beams to wipe out the cancerous cells.

If you notice any out of the ordinary growths on your skin, it’s vital to get them checked out by your doctor right away. Dr. Thomas Wright at St. Louis Laser Liposuction Center can help determine whether a problematic growths exhibiting basal cell cancer symptoms and will require treatment or removal.