Basal Cell Carcinoma - Treatment and Prescriptions

What is Basal Cell Carcinoma ?

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer. Although it is the most common, it also rarely spreads to other parts of the body. Those with fair skin are more likely to get this cancer. It grows slowly, and is one of the least dangerous skin cancers despite it being the most common. Getting it treated is still important because if left alone, it could still spread and become life threatening.

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Symptoms

Basal cell carcinoma is a growth that usually appears in sun exposed areas. A danger of basal cell carcinoma is that it could like a few other skin conditions like eczema, scars, or psoriasis. Some of the symptoms certainly could make BCC mistaken for these conditions, so it takes a well trained eye to differentiate the differences between them. Basal cell carcinoma has a few different looks, but they generally look like the following: Pearly or waxy bump Raised, red patches that could be itchy Sore-like bump that bleeds or scabs Scar-like, flat patch

Causes

Basal cell carcinoma is formed from the excessive growth of basal cells, which are cells that create new skin cells and create the outermost layer of epidermis. The excessive growth is caused by DNA damage. This damage modifies basal cell growth cycles and causes them to grow out of control into a mass of cancerous cells. In a study done about disease caused by ultraviolet radiation, it was revealed that 50-90% of basal cell carcinoma in fair skinned people is caused by radiation UV radiation. This UV radiation causes DNA damage, thus many causes of basal cell carcinoma can be attributed to exposure to UV radiation that causes the DNA damage. Here are various sources of UV radiation that could cause basal cell carcinoma: Sun exposure Tanning beds Tanning lamps DNA can still be damaged naturally, aside from UV radiation. As cells divide and new DNA is made for the new cells, a cell’s internal mechanisms might make a mistake in the creation of DNA and cause DNA damage that way. And although not a direct cause, a family history of basal cell carcinoma could also result in an inherited predisposition to basal cell carcinoma. This makes basal cells more prone to excessive growth.

Treatment

Basal cell carcinoma might not be as dangerous as other types of skin cancer, but it’s still important to get these suspicious spots checked out by a professional to eliminate any sort of risk to one’s health. Especially since BCC’s could easily be misidentified as other diseases, it will take a well trained eye to properly treat whatever might pose a danger. Home Remedies While home remedies have taken on popularity, there are little to no studies confirming the effectiveness of such treatments. In some cases, it might even do more harm than good considering their minimal effectiveness versus the unknown side effects they could have on your body. It’s best to follow the medical advice of a dermatologist because they know what will or will not treat the disease. Here are some popular home remedies that you should be careful with: Antioxidants Hydrotherapy Over the Counter Medication While some over the counter (OTC) medications are effective enough to be given as prescriptions, other OTC medications have limited effects on disease. They might help for mild to moderate cases, but they aren’t usually effective on severe ones. If used incorrectly and without guidance, they might even prove to be ineffective and produce unforeseen side effects. However, a dermatologist can tell you whether or not these can be effective for you. Unfortunately, there are no over the counter medications for basal cell carcinoma. Prescription Prescriptions, alongside professional medical advice, are the most effective form of treatment. Home remedies and over the counter treatments take plenty of time, energy, and money, yet are uncertain to work. Our experienced dermatologists take your unique skin, set of symptoms, and medical history into account to take the guessing game out of your road to recovery. Here are some prescriptions your dermatologist might include in your personalized treatment plan: Immunotherapy drugs - These boosts the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells. Targeted therapy drugs - These target genes, proteins, or the tissue environment involved with cancer growth. Chemotherapy drugs - These interfere with cell growth cycles to prevent cell growth. However, these interfere with healthy cell growth in addition to cancer cell growth.

Post Treatment Prevention

After being seen by one of our SkyMD dermatologists, you’ve been equipped with the treatment plan and prescription(s) to treat your discomfort. However, disease can be persistent, so you have to be too. A skin care routine and a set of disease-preventing habits recommended by our dermatologists are essential for long term prevention. Here are some popular prevention strategies that could supplement your personalized treatment plan: Avoid UV radiation - UV rays increase the risk of basal cell carcinoma. Avoid sunburns, tanning, and intense sunlight. Wear sunscreen and clothes that cover a lot of skin. Regular examination - This should be done both by yourself frequently and a dermatologist annually to ensure that no spots turn into basal cell carcinoma.

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