Basal cell carcinoma

Created: 03.08.2023

Updated 27.12.23

The majority of cases of skin cancer in Europe are due to Basal Cell Carcinoma. The cases are almost exclusively related to exposure to the sun. People with fair skin have the highest risk of developing cancer. It is generally a good idea to avoid getting sunburned as this significantly increases the chance of getting skin cancer.

Symptoms

Basal Cell Carcinoma can take many forms, such as a faint transparent small lump, a black mark, a flat flaky red area or an area resembling a scar. Most of the activity in basal cell carcinoma takes place under the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) which is slow growing.

It is a good idea to be familiar with your skin so that you are aware of any new changes, for example by checking your skin once a month. Look for marks or blemishes on the skin that change, do not go away, or seem unusual.

Treatment

The most common treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma is by surgical removal. If the cancer is more complex, a surgical procedure called "Mohs surgery" is used. Mohs surgery can take place in the doctor's office and is done by removing small pieces of the affected skin at a time and examining it for cancer cells. You stop removing tissue as soon as you can no longer find cancer cells. This is done to remove as little skin as possible and thus avoid unnecessary damage/scars in, for example, the face, where many cases of basal cell carcinoma occur. Creams can also be applied to the skin, the most commonly used are Imiquimod cream and 5-Fluorouracil cream.

Prognosis

Basal cell carcinoma, whilst generally not life-threatening, should be promptly addressed by a Doctor. Early treatment can prevent the spread of the cancer and minimise the extent of skin removal, particularly in sensitive areas like the face, where more extensive procedures could result in noticeable scarring.

Doctor
General Practitioner

At Dr.Dropin our experienced GPs provide a wide range of primary care services, similar to those provided by the NHS, either in the clinic or through video consultations.

Dermatologist

At Dr.Dropin, you will receive specialist care from our expert Consultant Dermatologists provided by skindoc. With extensive experience from both public and private hospitals, we can assess and treat most chronic and acute skin disorders – either in the clinic, through video, or via a photo upload service.