Basal cell carcinoma is a slow-growing skin cancer and it rarely metastasizes beyond its original tumor site.
However, this does not mean it can be left untreated. Our top NYC board certified dermatologists Doctors Gary and Kristina Goldenberg have seen many cases of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Treatment is successful for patients who are diagnosed early and less successful for those who ignore their symptoms. Any suspicion of skin cancer must be taken seriously and properly examined by a board certified dermatologist.
Basal cell carcinoma arises due to cellular damage. A major cause of damage to basal cell DNA is excessive or chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), which is found in sunlight and tanning lamps and beds. In cases in which the cancer develops in areas of the skin not generally exposed to sunlight, other factors, such as a compromised immune system, may be contributing to the risk of basal cell carcinoma.
Because basal cell carcinoma is the result of chronic ultraviolet radiation exposure, symptoms usually appear in areas that receive the most sunlight, such as the face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulder and back. Some tell-tale signs that a spot on your skin might be a basal cell carcinoma include:
The most common form of cancer in the United States, basal cell carcinoma is highly treatable. When detected and addressed early, most basal cell cancers can be cured. Although some basal cancers may recur, smaller ones are less likely to return. Some common treatment options include:
As part of a healthy screening program, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends an annual skin examination for everyone over the age of 18. To ensure early detection and treatment, it is important to monitor your skin for changes on a regular basis. If you notice an open sore or spot that changes in appearance, color, size and/or texture, schedule an appointment with one of our doctors in their Manhattan office.