Basal cell carcinoma, also known as basal cell cancer, is the most common type of skin cancer. It develops in cells at the base layer of your skin. Basal cell carcinoma tends to grow slowly and rarely spreads. However, it can still be a serious disease, as it can destroy bone and other tissues under the skin.
Find a Doctor at Dignity Health who specializes in treating skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, in Arizona. Use our online tool or call us at (602) 406-8222. We provide comprehensive cancer care at Chandler Regional Medical Center and the Dignity Health – Cancer Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
Basal Cell Carcinoma Symptoms
Skin cancer most commonly occurs on sun-exposed areas of the skin. But it’s possible to develop it just about anywhere, including the palms of your hands, genitals, and inside of your mouth.
Signs and symptoms of basal cell carcinoma include:
- Dome-shaped skin growth that grows slowly (tiny blood vessels may be visible near the surface)
- Flat, flesh-colored growth that looks like a scar
- Pale, waxy bump
- Shiny, scaly patch that's pink or red
- Sore that bleeds and crusts but does not heal
Fortunately, basal cell carcinoma is a highly preventable disease. The key to prevention is avoiding exposure to UV light. Whenever you're in the sun, use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to reduce your chances of developing skin cancer.
Treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma at Dignity Health
At Dignity Health, your care team includes board certified medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and surgeons, as well as social workers, pharmacists, dietitians, and spiritual care experts. Cancer resources, such as counseling are available to both you and your family members.
Treatment options depend on the stage of basal cell carcinoma. Your doctor may recommend:
- Cryosurgery, which freezes the growth with liquid nitrogen
- Curettage and electrodessication, which scrapes away the growth and then destroys any remaining cancer cells with an electrical current
- Medicated creams
- Mohs surgery, which involves removing the cancer and some cells around it layer by layer until no more cancer cells remain
- Photodynamic therapy, which uses a chemical treatment on the growth and special lights that kill cancer cells
- Radiation therapy
- Surgical removal
Dignity Health offers a range of treatment options for basal cell carcinoma in Arizona.