Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma Specialist
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer, and it’s also the most easily treated. With locations in Viera/Melbourne, Merritt Island, and Titusville, FL, Brevard Medical Dermatology offers advanced diagnostic and treatment options as well as important tips to keep skin healthy.

Basal Cell Carcinoma Q & A

What is basal cell carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer, with about 4 million new cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. It’s also the most easily treatable, especially when it’s diagnosed early, and it rarely spreads to other areas of the body. While sun exposure is a primary cause of basal cell carcinomas, tanning bed use can also cause these and other types of skin cancers.

What symptoms do basal cell carcinomas cause?

Most basal cell carcinomas begin as small, “pearly” or flesh-colored lumps or growths, developing into reddish or brownish bumps that sometimes become scaly or weep. Less often, they can appear as flat patches of reddish or brownish rough skin or hard skin growths. Most basal cell carcinomas bleed easily when scratched or rubbed. Basal cell carcinomas can occur anywhere on the body, but they’re more common in areas that have had significant sun exposure over the years, especially the nose and other areas of the face and scalp. People with fair skin are far more likely to develop basal cell carcinomas, especially as they get older.

How is a basal cell carcinoma diagnosed?

Diagnosis begins with a careful evaluation of the bump, growth or abnormal patch. A biopsy will usually be taken to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out other possible conditions including other cancers.

What treatment options are available?

Several options are available for treatment of basal cell carcinomas, depending on the size and location of the tumor and other factors. Treatment methods include:

  • oral medications or topical creams
  • surgical removal of the growth by excising or cutting it out
  • curettage and desiccation, which uses special instruments to scrape away the growth and destroy cancer cells with electricity
  • cryosurgery to destroy the carcinoma by “freezing” it with liquid nitrogen
  • superficial radiotherapy (SRT), a noninvasive treatment that uses precise delivery of radiation to specific layers of skin for excellent results without scarring

What does SRT involve?

SRT sessions take less than two minutes each to complete, and most patients require two treatments per week for six to eight weeks. Our Titusville office is one of only two locations in Brevard County to offer SRT.

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