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Basal cell Carcinoma: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

15 March, 2021 Ananya Das

Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer which originates from the basal cells. Basal cells belong to the type of cells that does the work of production of new skin cells once the old skin cells die. This type of cancer is not much associated with age factor but with the long term exposure to ultra violet rays coming from the sun. The most common area of occurrence of basal cell carcinoma is your head and neck. So the easiest way to avoid UV rays coming from sun is by covering your body or by wearing a sun screen.

Symptoms:

The usual place of development of basal cell carcinoma is the parts of body which remains exposed to sun like head and neck but it is also found to take place in the genitals which usually remains sun protected. A person with this cancer is often found dealing with changes in his skin like soreness or swelling on the skin that won’t heal.

Some of the changes that take place on the skin due to development of Basal cell carcinoma are as follows:

  • Dark spots: Some kind of brown, black or blue lesion may appear on the skin with slightly bumpy and translucent boundary.
  • Patches on chest and back: Scaly, reddish and flat patches with raised corners are commonly found to appear on the back and chest which may even grow quite large.
  • White, waxy lesion: A scar-like, white and waxy lesion where a well defined boundary is absent called Morpheaform basal cell carcinoma is the least common one to occur.
  • Skin bumps: A translucent pearly white, skin-colored or pink colored bump may be found on the skin of a person with basal cell carcinoma. In these cases often small blood vessels are seen under the translucent cover. This is most common in basal cell carcinoma and is often found on the face and ears. After sometime of its development, these lesions may even rupture and bleed.

Causes and risk factors:

The main cause of basal cell carcinoma is the exposure of UV rays from sun on the skin due to this the DNA of the cells undergoes mutation and later develops into cancer. There are also cases of skin cancer where the cause is not clear and also the UV rays are also not the cause. But there are various risk factors which are associated with the development of Basal cell carcinoma.

1. Arsenic exposure: Arsenic is a naturally occurring toxic metal, on coming in contact of which increases the chances of basal cell carcinoma.

2. immune-suppressing drugs: Immune suppressing drugs like anti-rejection drugs that are used after the transplant surgery increases the risk of skin cancer development.

3. Fair skin: It is assumed that people with sensitive and light skin nature are more prone to develop skin cancer than others.

4. Inherited syndromes: Some rare types of inherited diseases increases the risk of basal cell carcinoma like Gorlin-Goltz syndrome and Xeroderma syndrome.

Treatment:

The method to be used for the treatment of cancer depends highly on the size, location, and stage of cancer along with the age and health condition of the patient. The various ways that can be employed for the purpose are as follows:

1. Excision: In this method, the tumor is removed by the doctor by numbing the tumor and the surrounding affected skin first and then using a spoon-shaped device removes the tumor and the nearby cancer cells.

2. Radiation therapy: This method is performed by application of high-energy X-ray beams on the affected area of the patient. These radiations destroy the cancer cells and prevent their growth.

3. Cryosurgery: In this method, doctors prefer to freeze the cancer cells with liquid nitrogen and then perform surgery to remove them.

4. Medications: For treating the basal cell carcinoma which has spread to other parts of the body too, your doctor may advise you to apply creams or take some pills like the creams include Flurouracil(5-FU) and Imiquimod while the pills may include Sonidegib (Odomzo) and Vismodegib (Erivedge).

All the medicines that are prescribed for the treatment of basal cell carcinoma are easily available to buy from online pharmacies.

Outlook:
Basal cell carcinoma is usually a very less invasive kind of cancer with its treatment easily possible if caught at an early stage. So be sure to be alert with your skin condition and if experience any of the above symptoms then consult with your doctor immediately to get your treatment started soon.

 

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