Basal cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most frequently occurring form of all cancers. It used to be known as a “rodent ulcer”. BCCs grow slowly, most are curable and cause minimal damage when caught early. It is therefore important to recognise the signs of BCC so that they can be detected early when they are easiest to treat.
BCCs can look like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, scars or growths with slightly raised, rolled edges and/or a central indentation. At times, BCCs may ooze, crust, itch or bleed. The lesions commonly arise in sun-exposed areas of the body.
The commonest cause for BCCs is exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun or sunbeds. They are most commonly found in fair-skinned adults who have had a lot of exposure to the sun.
The most common treatment for BCCs is surgery. At Southface Dermatology, we specialise in this type of surgery and have treated thousands of patients. The type of surgery will depend upon the type of BCC. Some BCCs can be treated by a procedure known as curette and cautery which removes the BCC by scraping it away and sealing the base with heat. Some may be treated topically with a prescribed cream. Many are surgically removed under local anaesthetic.
Mohs surgery is a specialised type of removal of certain BCCs which allows microscopic analysis of the skin at the time of surgery.