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Doctor insights on: Superficial Basal Cell Skin Cancer

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,351 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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How long might one have basal cell skin cancer on his face without knowing it?

How long might one have basal cell skin cancer on his face without knowing it?

Greatly varies: It may take years before someone may become aware of a skin cancer. There are slow growing cancers that grow underneath the surface and are more difficult to detect. That's why someone may have a very large skin cancer (growing deep but not appearing on the surface) and not be aware until it's grown very big and appears on the surface. A skin cancer may pop up suddenly and grow fast within days. ...Read more

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For what length of time can you have a basal cell skin cancer on your face without knowing it?

For what length of time can you have a basal cell skin cancer on your face without knowing it?

One variety hides: Most forms of skin cancer grow outward an are noticed. One form, morpheaform looks like a flat white freckle and can go unnoticed. It is also the most likely to recur after surgery. ...Read more

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Is basal cell skin cancer dangerous? I’ve heard it doesn’t spread, so do I need to worry about getting it?

See below: Basal cell cancer almost never metastasizes, but untreated, will continue to grow. It is easily treated at an early stage, but if its growth involves vital structures, treatment can be disfiguring. In extreme cases, it can cause death. The moral of the story: as cancers go, it is not bad, but as for all cancers, it should be treated appropriately. ...Read more

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Am I at a higher risk for melanoma due to basal cell skin cancer?

Am I at a higher risk for melanoma due to basal cell skin cancer?

Yes: Basal cell carcinoma is one o the most common malignancy in the us. Risk factors include uv radiation from sun exposure. This also increases your risk of melanoma. Make sure to get regular full body examinations from your dermatologist so any suspicious lesion can be caught early and biopsied. ...Read more

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Am I at higher risk for melanoma because I had basal cell skin cancer?

Am I at higher risk for melanoma because I had basal cell skin cancer?

Yes: You are more prone to skin cancer and should be checked although the increase in melanomas not statistically dramatic. ...Read more

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How fast does basal cell skin cancer spread if the doctors report came back "deep"?

How fast does basal cell skin cancer spread if the doctors report came back "deep"?

Very very slowly: While basal cell carcinoma can metastasize and spread from the skin, it is very unlikely to do so unless they are very big (larger than the size of your fist). For the most part, bcc are slow growing cancers that can destroy surrounding tissue if neglected. So if you have been diagnosed with one, I would followup with your dermatologist or mohs surgeon soon to get it treated. ...Read more

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What is squamous cell vs basal cell skin cancer?

Different growth: Basal cell skin cancers often grow deeper and more destructive when left untreated causing large ulcerated areas. Squamous carcinomas more often spread radially and have a higher risk of spread to other organs if left untreated. ...Read more

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What causes pain in the muscle behind a (potential) basal cell skin cancer?

What causes pain in the muscle behind a (potential) basal cell skin cancer?

Inflammation: Inflammation is often the cause of pain. However, when associated with cancer, nerve involvement by tumor needs to be excluded. See your dermatologist. ...Read more

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How do doctors determine if it's eczema or basal cell skin cancer?

How do doctors determine if it's eczema or basal cell skin cancer?

Eczema and BCC: Eczema is an itchy scaling rash that goes together with dry skin. May be all over or in certain areas, but is usually symmetrical, i.e. Involves both sides of the body. Basal cell carcinoma (bcc) is usually a pearly translucent pink papule or plaque with raised borders, however superficial bcc can be a flat scaly-looking patch sometimes not easy to differentiate from a patch of eczema. ...Read more

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Can doctors tell me what does pain in muscle behind a (potential) basal cell skin cancer indicate?

Coincidence: Nothing but coincidence. Basal cell carcinoma is usually (>90%) painless. ...Read more

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Is there a good cure for basal cell carcinoma skin cancer?

Is there a good cure for basal cell carcinoma skin cancer?

Options: Superficial basal cell can be treated with radiation, topical creams Aldara (imiquimod) and effudex, burning and scraping or surgical excision. Deeper basal cells are treated with radiation, scraping or excision. I prefer excision with clearance of margins by a pathologist. ...Read more

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What can you tell me about basal cell carcinoma and squamous skin cancer (basosquamous)?

What can you tell me about basal cell carcinoma and squamous skin cancer (basosquamous)?

Common skin cancers: Basal cell followed by squamous Ca are the more common skin lesions. Bas=al cell almost never metastasizes compared to sqaumous cell Ca where if left will eventaujally spread to regional nodes. Early treatment for both is with Efudex (fluorouracil) (5FU) cream. When squamous is aggressive it can be removed by Mohs paste. Should nodal spread occur with squamous CA surgery followed by RT may be necessary. ...Read more

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Can a basal cell carcinoma skin cancer, if left untreated eventually invade and become life threatening? It is on shoulder now for 8 years!

Can a basal cell carcinoma skin cancer, if left untreated eventually invade and become life threatening? It is on shoulder now for 8 years!

Invasion of BCC: While this is very very rare there have been reported cases. The main reason to have it removed is that the larger it gets the harder it is to remove. The scar will be bigger and you will wish you had it removed when it was smaller. ...Read more

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My path results came back from a lump I had removed saying I had basal cell carcinoma, does this mean I have skin cancer or just the lump is cancerous?

My path results came back from a lump I had removed saying I had basal cell carcinoma, does this mean I have skin cancer or just the lump is cancerous?

See a dermatologist: The best treatment for a biopsy proven basal cell carcinoma (bcc) is to have it surgically removed. However, bccs come in various subtypes from mild to more aggressive, and it it important to choose the best treatment. For areas on the head and neck, and cosmetically sensitive areas see an acms fellowship trained mohs surgeon. Visit http://www. Skincancermohssurgery. Org/ for more information. ...Read more

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If this mole is an early skin cancer, how do I tell if it's a melanoma or a basal cell carcinoma?

Get a Derm Consult: Melanoma typically is pigmented and has a dark color. Basal cell cancer may have a pearly appearance to it. However, you should not take a chance trying to diagnosis this yourself. Melanoma is a deadly disease and early detection can lead to a cure. Delayed detection can be fatal. ...Read more

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What should I do about melanoma vs basal skin cancer.?

Dermatologist: What you should do is to go to see a dermatologist as soon as possible. Your dematologist will be able to tell you the diagnosis and deliver the necessary treatment- a resection - to remove it. ...Read more

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Can basal cell cancer increase my risk of melanoma?

Indirectly: Basal cell skin cancers are almost always due to sun exposure. Sun exposure (and bad sun burns) increase risk of melanoma. If you are 29 and have had a basal cell, you should make sure you are getting regular screening examinations with your dermatologist on whatever schedule he/she sees fit. Biopsy of any suspicious lesions is important. ...Read more

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Dose basal cell cancer increase my risk for melanoma?

Dose basal cell cancer increase my risk for melanoma?

A little bit: Yes, but not a great deal. The good news is that surveillance for any skin cancer is the same. Examine your own skin regularly, and keep your scheduled appointments with your doctor or dermatologist. Notify them if you see any lesions which are concerning for skin cancer. Best wishes! ...Read more

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Can basal cell cancer be the same color as skin?

Depends...: In contrast, melanomas are typically pigmented like a freckle or mole. Basal cells are usually not pigmented (but they can be). They do have a distinct apperance: typically pearly in appearance with prominent blood vessels and sometimes ulceration. If you notice any such lesions, have them checked out. ...Read more

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I'm 26 weeks pregnant & just found out I have a basal cell skin cancer. Do I need to be concerned? Had a mole biopsied that came back as basal cell.

I'm 26 weeks pregnant & just found out I have a basal cell skin cancer. Do I need to be concerned? Had a mole biopsied that came back as basal cell.

See dermatologist: Basal cell cancers tend to grow fairly slowly so delaying treatment until after your pregnancy may be ok. But it really depends where it is and how extensive it is and what kind of basal cell cancer it is. You might be able to have it removed under local anesthesia especially in the second trimester. You should talk to a dermatologist to go over the options. ...Read more

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I have had and currently have vascular cell skin cancer. Could this lead to different cancer?

I have had and currently have vascular cell skin cancer. Could this lead to different cancer?

Basal cell cancer: I am notmxpsure I have ever heard of a vascular cell skin cancer. Generally it doesn't lead to another type of skin cancer but is likely indicative that you are at a higher risk for developing other new basal skin cancers. ...Read more

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What does squamous cell skin cancer look like?

Different things...: Squamous cell skin cancer (scca) can take different appearances. In general the lesion will progressively enlarge. It is usually scaly and dry appearing and can have ulceration. It may bleed, esp. If picked at. It may be painless or itch. Early ones usually don't hurt. There are some benign skin lesions which mimic scca. Have any suspicious lesions examined and/or biopsied. ...Read more

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How long does it take for a squamous cell skin cancer to spread?

How long does it take for a squamous cell skin cancer to spread?

Spread is rare: Squamous cell cancer of the skin remains localized for many years and therefore is curable when excised with a small operation. It can spread if neglected for a long time (years). On rare occasions it can be more aggressive than the garden variety that I have described above. So it is best to take care of it within one or two months from the time of diagnosis. ...Read more

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Does it ever happen that a squamous cell skin cancer grow under skin without any sign?

Usually not.: However some skin cancer can look like moles or other common growths. It is best to be checked by your doctor or dermatologist once a year. More frequently if you have a history of skin cancer or it runs in the family. ...Read more

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What causes skin cancer cells to go from normal to a cancer?

What causes skin cancer cells to go from normal to a cancer?

Ultraviolet light: While there is a new study implicating cigarette smoking as a contributing factor, most research points to ultraviolet light (sunshine, tanning bed, welding torch rays) as the most common trigger. More rarely, long term exposure to certain chemicals can also cause this in factory or farm workers whose skin is constantly exposed. A weakened immune system can aid the transformation. ...Read more

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Can basil cell skin cancer be deadly?

Basal Cell Ca mortal: Not really. BCC is one of the less aggressive skin cancers. Best to discuss with your doctor or dermatologist in detail. ...Read more

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What are the odds of a squamous cell skin cancer spreading to lymph nodes?

Very high: Neglected sqamous cell skin cancer is a very lethal lesion. It rapidly penetrates to deeper layers of skin, spread to regional lymph nodes. Early detection and wide excision will assure cure if you see a non healing ulcer seek the help of your physician for early diagnosis and cure. ...Read more

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What is the likelihood of squamous cell skin cancer spreading to lymph nodes?

Depends: Most squamous cancers of the skin do not metastasize but some do. Many factors involved including the size of the tumor, its location, and microscopic appearance. ...Read more

Dr. Mike Bowman
958 Doctors shared insights

Skin Cancer (Definition)

A condition in which some element of your skin--which is one of the most complex organs in the body--degenerates into cancer. The three most common types of skin cancer are: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma which occur in that order and degree of aggressiveness. Although heredity plays a major role, sun exposure and tobacco use and ...Read more


Dr. Gregory Surfield
176 Doctors shared insights

Basal Cell (Definition)

Basal cell carcinoma or bcc is the most common type of skin cancer. There are millions of them each year in the us. They are caused by sun exposure and ultraviolet light (tanning beds) and are very common on the face. It is very rare for them to metastasize or spread to other parts of the body. They can be easily cured with ...Read more