About 2 million people in the United States are diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma (BCC) every year, making it the most common type of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is a slow-growing cancer and is curable when found early. At Dermatology Associates of Western Pennsylvania in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, Michael Osofsky, MD, Brian Pucevich, MD, Saba Ali, MD, and the team specialize in diagnosing and treating all types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a type of skin cancer that affects your basal cells, which are the cells that produce new skin cells. You develop BCC when there’s a mutation in the DNA of the basal cell, triggering an overproduction of abnormal cells and creating a tumor.
Researchers theorize that the mutated DNA occurs from overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or a tanning lamp.
Basal cell carcinoma typically appears as a sore that won’t heal. Other characteristics of BCC include:
These lesions most often appear on sun-exposed areas of the body such as the head or neck.
If you have any abnormal growths on your skin, schedule an evaluation at Dermatology Associates of Western Pennsylvania.
The team at Dermatology Associates of Western Pennsylvania individualizes treatment for basal cell carcinoma based on the location and size of your lesion. Treatment options include:
For a surgical excision, your dermatologist uses a scalpel to remove the abnormal growth and some of the surrounding healthy skin.
Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialty procedure that removes cancerous lesions one layer at a time. Dr. Brian Pucevich performs this procedure if you have recurring BCC, a large lesion, a lesion without defined borders, or a lesion that has an aggressive or rapid growth pattern.
Dr. Brian also performs Mohs surgery on BCC lesions in areas where you want to preserve as much healthy skin as possible to protect function or appearance.
In addition to BCC, Mohs surgery is indicated to remove sebaceous carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, and porocarcinoma.
If you have BCC lesions on your trunk, arms, or legs, the team at Dermatology Associates of Western Pennsylvania may recommend scheduling an ED&C for treatment.
As an alternative, Dermatology Associates of Western Pennsylvania may also recommend scheduling an appointment to use liquid nitrogen to freeze and destroy the BCC tumor.
Basal cell carcinoma is common and treatable. For expert skin cancer care, call Dermatology Associates of Western Pennsylvania or request an appointment online today.