As the video helpfully points out, BCCs can take a wide range of forms. The guidance helps but specialist diagnosis is the key.
Basal cell carcinoma mainly arises due to DNA damage, caused by ultraviolet radiation, from the sun or tanning beds. Cells in the lower epidermis can grow uncontrollably, forming external and internal lesions.
Whilst BCCs rarely spread to other parts of the body, they can over time penetrate deeper layers of the skin, nearby tissue, or bone. This makes treatment more difficult and increases the likelihood of recurrence.
Intervention at an early stage makes sense and the better news is that treatment offers high success rates, based on careful assessment of each case.
BCCs can look quite different from one case to another, from appearing pigmented on darker skin, to significant variation on fair skin. An experienced consultant is likely to recognise the condition, although additional diagnostic equipment helps.
This can range from a hand held, image capturing microscope, called a dermoscope, to laser based confocal microscopy, to look beneath your skin. An advanced technique available at our London clinics.
Complete understanding matters and may include discussing your medical history, lifestyle factors, or family history. Basal cell carcinomas are not normally hereditary although this is possible, through unusual conditions such as Gorlin’s syndrome.
With your condition fully assessed, a treatment plan can be created to match the requirements and provide a sound outcome.
The nature, depth and size of the carinomas influence treatment decisions. In minor cases, topical chemotherapy (a cream) can be valuable, or cryosurgery (freezing).
An option for moderate lesions is photodynamic therapy, a combination of a special light and light sensitive medication. In a number of cases, surgery will be an effective route for a cure and to remain cancer free long term.
Simple surgical excision under local anaesthetic can be sufficient, or types of laser surgery. Experienced Mohs surgeons are also available in house, Mohs surgery is a technique which minimises defects for a better cosmetic result.
Our first task is to cure your skin cancer, yet we appreciate the importance of a good aesthetic outcome. In rare case where advanced plastic surgery will help after treatment, this is again provided by our team.
Skin Care Network Support
In almost all cases, basal cell carcinomas are not life threatening. They are nevertheless inconvenient, unwanted, in certain cases disfiguring and as research confirms, are likely to worsen over time.
We do not believe there is such a thing as minor skin cancer treatment, so our team provide personal support to all patients. Your views and how you feel about the condition are integral to care, before, during and after treatment.
Both Chelsea and Barnet clinics offer modern facilities, which achieve maximum effect with minimal intervention. You are welcome to get in touch with our friendly staff.
- A detailed section on our: Central London Clinic.
- Established facilities in our: North London Clinic.
- Preventing future issues: Our Skin Cancer Blog.
For any advice, or to arrange a dermatology appointment, call 020 3535 7850, or send us an email via the Make An Appointment button below.