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Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment: What You Need to Know

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What Causes Basal Cell Carcinoma?

The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma.  Basal cell is found on skin that receives lots of sun exposure, like your face, ears, neck and hands, but you can get it anywhere on your body.  It is a slow-growing cancer but can go deep even to the bone, destroying tissue as it goes.

How Fast Does Basal Cell Carcinoma Grow? 

While generally slow growing, the spreading rate of basal cell carcinoma can vary depending on the health of your immune system.  It is not the deadliest of skin cancers, but if left untreated, it can be disfiguring.  This is because the lesion can grow deep into the skin.

basal cell carcionma on a man's forehead

The letter “A” and the circle mark basal cell carcinoma on this patient’s forehead.


When is Mohs Surgery Recommended?

If basal cell carcinoma is on your face, neck or hands, Mohs surgery is often advised due to the precision of removal and very high cure rate.  Depending on the tumor’s characteristics and size, it may be appropriate in other areas.

basal cell carcinoma on woman's ear

This is a basal cell carcinoma on a woman’s ear before her Mohs surgery. After surgery, the site was closed with a skin graft.


With Mohs, the tumor is removed, and then more thin tissue samples are removed and examined under a microscope until no more cancerous cells are found.  This way, healthy skin is preserved.  Mohs surgery is named after the doctor who invented the method, Frederic E. Mohs, M.D.

Closing the surgical site will depend on how much tissue was removed.  This can range from letting it heal naturally, to stitches, to skin graft or a skin flap.  Most basal cell carcinoma is cured with minor surgery.

Basal cell carcinomas can also be treated with destructive methods such as cryosurgery (freezing with liquid nitrogen) or curetting (scraping with a surgical instrument).  Unfortunately, the cure rate with these two methods is lower than with Mohs surgery.

Learn more about the signs and symptoms of basal cell carcinoma from the American Academy of Dermatology.

Call Dr. Golomb today for a skin cancer screening appointment at 855-465-6621.


See A Trusted Dermatologist

Dr. Cynthia Golomb is widely considered one of the top dermatologists in Hallandale Beach.  She welcomes patients for skin cancer screening and treatment from Aventura, Sunny Isles Beach, North Miami Beach, Golden Beach, Pembroke Pines and Hollywood, Fl.  Dr. Golomb is triple board certified in Dermatology, Dermatopathology and Micrographic Dermatologic Surgery (Mohs).

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