Basal Cell Carcinoma in Houston, TX

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What is Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common of the three types of skin cancer, and it is generally the easiest to treat. While basal cell carcinomas are generally less aggressive than the other two types of cancer, they can destroy local tissue and in extremely rare cases, spread to the lymph nodes and elsewhere in the body. Depending on the location, size, and subtype (the way the cancer cells look under the microscope) of your basal cell, options for treatment at Advanced Dermatology may include Mohs micrographic surgery, standard excision (also known as wide local excision), electrodesiccation and curettage (also known as the "scrape and burn" technique), or topical chemotherapy creams. Call any of our four locations in Katy, League City, Pearland, or Sugar Land, TX for an appointment. We would be happy to check out your suspicious skin lesions in a private consultation.

Are you at risk for Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Damaged skin cells or trauma to the skin can change the DNA within your skin. This is how cancer develops. The newly injured skin cells will have DNA that mutates within newly generated cells. The affected cells then rapidly grow and change the look, feel, and health of your skin. Every person can generate skin cancer, and there are certain warning signs you should be on the lookout for in a questionable skin lesion. Having a genetic predisposition to cancer, light to fair skin color, yellow/red hair, or blue/green eyes are all factors can put you in a higher-risk category as well. All skin (no matter the color) is susceptible to cancer from UV radiation, but there are skin types who can be impacted more.

You should have a skin evaluation if you recently had an accident with trauma to your skin, sores or wounds that will not heal on your skin, your immune system is bogged down all the time, or if you have had many sunburns in your life.

What Are the Causes of Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma is primarily caused by prolonged exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds. This UV exposure damages the DNA in basal cells, leading to uncontrolled growth. Risk factors include having fair skin, a history of sunburns, excessive sun exposure, and a weakened immune system. Other factors such as age, family history of skin cancer, and exposure to certain chemicals can also increase the risk. Preventive measures include using sun protection and avoiding excessive UV exposure.

What are the Symptoms of Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma is a very common type of skin cancer and is usually easily recognized. While there are rare "overlap" cancers that share features of more than one type of skin cancer, a basal cell carcinoma, for example, will always be a basal cell carcinoma. It will eventually become larger if not treated. Basal cell carcinomas:

  • Have a waxy appearance
  • Are pearly and smooth to the touch
  • Can sometimes bleed
  • Can develop a scab or crust
  • Are itchy
  • May start to heal but not to the fullest
  • Can turn into a painless ulcer

If you notice any changes to your skin that may appear unusual and doesn’t go back to normal after a month, the best thing you can do is to visit your doctor. Taking a photo of anything unusual can help to monitor the changes that occur.

Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment Options

If you are diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, you will not have to make all of your treatment decisions on your own. We will discuss how you want to treat your cancer after we know for sure it is basal cell carcinoma. We have in-office procedures to remove your lesion that can be selected based on the location, size, and other hallmarks of basal cell carcinoma markers your skin presents.

Our practitioners provide patients with traditional excision, electrodesiccation and curettage, cryotherapy, topical chemotherapy, or Mohs micrographic surgery. We want your input. 

Basal Cell Carcinoma FAQs

Will BCC spread?
There are a very small number of cases where basal cell carcinoma can spread to the bones, lungs, or lymph nodes, but this is a rare occurrence. When BCC is caught and treated early on, patients have very little risk of it spreading throughout their body. Your provider at Advanced Dermatology will discuss your BCC's status and progression with you in the diagnostic stage.

How can I actively prevent skin cancer?
One of the best ways of preventing skin cancer is wearing sun protection. We recommend an SPF above 40, with reapplication every 2 hours throughout the day. In addition, sunscreens that are the most clinically trusted have zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Ask your provider about their sunscreen recommendations to see if our office can provide you with medical-grade skin protection.

How serious is basal cell carcinoma?
BCC is highly treatable and most patients get encouraging prognoses. We know that any cancer diagnosis is concerning. However, our providers are highly skilled at identifying and treating basal cell carcinoma in its early stages to keep it from interfering with your health.

Be Aware of Your BCC Risk

In Katy, League City, Pearland, or Sugar Land, TX, our dermatology teams want you to have everything you need to be successful in your encounter with skin cancer after a positive diagnosis. Our dermatology professionals and practitioners will give their all to protect your health, give you the care you need, and treat your condition with compassion for lifelong health. Schedule your first appointment today.

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