Basal cell carcinoma is a type of cancer in the skin that is because of malignant epithelial cell tumor, which begins as a papule, a small, circumscribed solid elevation of the skin, and enlarges peripherally with crusts and bleeding. Metastasis is rare; however, local invasion of the underlying tissue will destroy the adjacent tissue.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common and the least lethal form of cancers. This accounts for nearly 90 percent of the cancer cases in the US. This type of cancer is quite common in Caucasians. The risk of cancer is related to the amount of sun exposure and pigmentation in the skin. The longer the exposure to the sun, the higher the chances for occurrence of cancer.
The cancer is classified into three types based on the area of localization:
The most common type of basal cell carcinoma is expressed as nodular, flesh colored (creamish to pinkish nodules), or round or oval translucent nodule with the overlying small blood vessels and a pearly appearing rolled border.
The second type of basal cell carcinoma is due to the presence of pigmented lesions. These lesions are darker than the nodular type, appearing blue, brown or black in colour.
Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma:
The third type of basal cell carcinoma is the superficial type of cancer that appears as red, scaly with localized plaque. This type of cancer is often confused with psoriasis or eczema.
The other types of basal cell carcinoma have been divided into the following types:
Nodular basal cell carcinoma, cystic basal cell carcinoma, cicatricial basal cell carcinoma, infiltrative basal cell carcinoma, micro nodular basal cell carcinoma, superficial basal cell carcinoma, superficial basal cell carcinoma, pigmented basal cell carcinoma, rodent ulcer, fibroepithelioma of Pinkus, polypoid basal cell carcinoma, pore-like basal cell carcinoma and aberrant basal cell carcinoma.
Prevention of basal cell carcinoma is by using sunscreens to prevent sun damage. The use of chemotherapeutic agent such as 5-Fluorouracil or imiquimod that can prevent the development of cancer. Some of the other basal cell carcinoma treatment methods are by adopting standard surgical excision, Mohs surgery and chemotherapy like the use of 5-Fluorouracil.
Immunotherapy, radiation, photodynamic therapy, electrodessication and curettage, and cryosurgery are some of the most common methods to treat basal cell carcinoma. As the cancer do not result in metastasis, this is considered to be less malignant but is not desirable to have them on your skin.