Basal Cell Carcinoma

What is basal cell carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma or BCC tends to grow on the face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders, and back ¾ parts of the body that are often exposed to the sun. But basal cell skin cancer also can appear in other areas, especially if they have been scarred or burned or exposed to radiation or chemicals such as arsenic. Skin that has been tattooed, vaccinated, infected, or subject to chronic skin conditions and open sores also is prone to this type of skin cancer.

Skin Cancer is Common

Did you know that skin cancer is more common than breast, prostate, and colon cancers combined? About half of all Americans will have skin cancer at least once in their lives if they live to be age 65 years or older.

BCC alone affects approximately 3 million people in the United States each year.

The good news is that Manhattan Beach dermatologist Lawrence Moy, MD, is an expert at identifying and treating all types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma.

Basal Cell Carcinoma Symptoms

There are 5 signs of BCC, including:

  • Open sores that bleed, ooze, and crust for 2 weeks or more
  • Irritated, red, sometimes crusty, itchy, and painful patches on the face, chest, shoulders, arms, and legs
  • Bumps that sometimes look like moles and appear black, brown, white, red, pink, tan, shiny, pearly, or translucent
  • Pink growths with raised borders and a dented center that is crusty, with tiny blood vessels that appear as the surface grows
  • Scar-like areas with undefined borders that appear tight, shiny, yellow, white, or waxy

You might be at risk for BCC if you:

  • Have spent lots of time in the sun
  • Have had sunburns
  • Are blond, red headed, and fair skinned
  • Age 50 years or older
  • Often work outdoors
  • Use or have used tanning beds

Treatment for BCC

Dr. Moy offers a wide range of effective options for treating basal cell tumors, including topical medications, excisional surgery, cryosurgery, curettage and electrosurgery, photodynamic therapy, laser surgery, and radiation.

If you have a basal cell tumor, your surgery will depend on your age and health as well as the type, location, size, and depth of your tumor.

Because all skin cancers, including BCC, are best treated in the early stages, it is important to have regular skin checkups with your dermatologist.

Schedule an appointment for your skin checkup today!
Call Dr. Moy at 310-546-7780.

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