Basal cell skin cancer is the most common type of skin cancer, accounting for about 8 out of 10 cases among the 3.3 million Americans who are diagnosed each year. Patients often don’t detect basal cell skin cancer symptoms until the affected area becomes itchy, starts to bleed, or causes other general discomforts, but there are visual signs that often appear first.
Visual basal cell skin cancer symptoms include firm and pale nodules, raised, reddish patches, and open sores that never fully heal—but these symptoms can vary widely depending on the form taken by the disease.
Basal Cell Skin Cancer Symptoms: Visual Signs
Basal cell skin cancer typically appears on areas of the body which see the most sun exposure, including the face, head, and neck, but it’s possible to get them on other parts of the body as well. When performing a self-check, here are the visual signs of basal cell skin cancer you should look for:
- Flat areas on the skin that are firm and pale or yellow in color (similar to what a scar looks like)
- Raised patches on the skin that are reddish in color and might be itchy
- Small pearly bumps that can be translucent or pink/red in color, and might be accompanied by blue, brown, or black areas
- Pink growths with a lowered center and raised edges, possibly containing abnormal blood vessels that appear to spread out like the spokes on a bicycle wheel
- Open sores that either never heal, or sometimes heal and then re-appear
If you detect a spot on your skin that matches any of the basal cell skin cancer symptoms listed above, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your dermatologist at the earliest opportunity. Your doctor can perform a skin cancer screening and provide a professional diagnosis.
Basal Cell Skin Cancer Treatments
If detected early on, basal cell skin cancer can usually be treated and cured, but it’s important to seek treatment promptly following a diagnosis. Basal cell skin cancer has a slow growth rate and usually doesn’t spread to other parts of the body, but the longer it goes untreated, the more invasive the required treatment method may be. A doctor will usually recommend one of three treatment methods depending on the type of basal cell skin cancer that you’ve been diagnosed with. These recommendations may include:
- Surgery: Mohs surgery is one of the most commonly administered basal cell skin cancer treatments. It involves numbing the affected area and cutting out the cancer. This treatment option usually leaves a scar, and will require the use of antibiotics following the surgery.
- Topical Therapy: A less invasive option than surgery, topical therapy involves applying a prescribed medicine directly to the basal cell skin cancer growth to destroy the skin cancer cells.
- Image-Guided SRT: Image-Guided SRT is a surgery-free basal cell skin cancer treatment that is just as effective as Mohs surgery, but carries no risk of surgical scarring and can be carried out with no limits to daily activities. This treatment uses ultrasound imaging and x-ray energy to destroy the skin cancer cells without impacting the surrounding area.
Learn More About Image-Guided SRT With GentleCure
At GentleCure, we believe in empowering skin cancer patients to make educated treatment decisions. Image-Guided SRT is an excellent treatment option in many cases, and if you receive a diagnosis of basal cell skin cancer, you should ask your doctor or dermatologist if it’s the right option for your situation.
If you would like to know more about Image-Guided SRT and how it can treat basal cell skin cancer without surgery or surgical scarring, we encourage you to call us at 855-936-4411 to speak with a skin cancer information specialist. They can help you locate a practice near you that offers Image-Guided SRT, as well as answer any additional questions you may have about how Image-Guided SRT works.