Basal Cell Carcinoma
Condition: Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
Alternative names: BCC, rodent ulcer, non-melanoma skin cancer
The incidence of all types of skin cancer has increased dramatically over the last few decades. At the Harley Street Dermatology Clinic, we are experts in diagnosing and treating cancer. Whether it be treated by topical therapy, radiotherapy or plastic surgery, you can rest assured that our consultants will provide you with the best possible care. Please see before and after images below of basal cell carcinoma treated surgically.
Remember, the earlier your skin cancer is diagnosed and treated, the less likely it is to leave you with scarring.
What is it?
Basal cell carcinoma is the commonest form of skin cancer accounting for around 85% of skin cancer in the UK. It is a slow-growing malignant tumour arising from the epidermis at the skin surface. Pleasingly, BCC has a very low rate of growth and is highly unlikely to spread to other areas, rendering it relatively harmless.
What does it look like?
There are several variants of basal cell carcinoma, all of which tend to occur in areas of sun exposure:
• Superficial BCCs appear as a scaly plaque and might resemble psoriasis or eczema.
• Nodular BCCs appear as a slightly shiny or translucent nodule which may ulcerate centrally and have blood vessels visible on their surface
• Infiltrative (or morphoeic) BCC are less well defined plaques and can be difficult to identify
How might it affect me?
If left, most basal cell carcinomas will continue to grow slowly over time causing cosmetic disfigurement. The infiltrative variants are more likely to involve other tissue and structures but this tends to occur only if treatment of the BCC is neglected for some time. Spread to lymph nodes and internally is rare.
What are the treatments?
Superficial basal cell carcinomas can be treated readily with freezing spray, creams or photodynamic therapy. Nodular and infiltrative BCCs are treated by either surgical excision or radiotherapy.
Our consultants at the Harley Street Dermatology Clinic offer diagnosis and treatment to patients with basal cell carcinoma.
Remember that the earlier your basal cell carcinoma is diagnosed and treated, the less the cosmetic disfigurement and the less chance of recurrence or spread.
For more information on basal cell carcinoma, please see the British Association of Dermatologists website BCC advice leaflet http://www.bad.org.uk/site/800/default.aspx.