The once sleepy field of dermatology is bustling these days, as baby boomers, who spent their youth largely unaware of the sun’s risk, hit old age. The number of skin cancer diagnoses in people over 65, along with corresponding biopsies and treatment, is soaring. But some in the specialty, as well as other medical experts, are beginning to question the necessity of aggressive screening and treatment, especially in frail, elderly patients, given that the majority of skin cancers are unlikely to be fatal.
Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) facilitates optimal margin control and conservation of normal tissue for the management of BCC; however, other treatment modalities may also be implemented in the correct clinical scenario.
The most common form of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma or basal cell skin cancer. Unlike melanoma, which usually develops from an existing mole, basal cell carcinoma develops from the basal cells. These are the skin cells that lie at the bottom layer of the epidermis and surround the hair follicles.
This post is especially for all the fair to medium skinned, blond or brunette, blue or green eyed people out there. And I'm warning you, it won't be pretty, but it could save you a lot of pain. Don't worry there won't be anything bloody or gory.
Because my tumor (a basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer) was in the thin, alar wall of the nose, and near the bottom, I had been warned that some plastic surgery might be needed to smooth out the cosmetic damage (would it ever).
I sat down and researched basal cell carcinoma. Wow, I learned that now I have had this one occurrence of basal cell carcinoma. I am at higher risk for developing additional basal cell carcinomas in the future.
It began as a small white spot above my lip, beneath my nose, less noticeable than my adult acne. The acne far was more frustrating and what drove me to the dermatologist. During my visit I did ask her about the spot. She shrugged and told me if it started to bleed to come back. The spot never went away but grew so slowly that when it finally started bleeding I didn’t realize how large or deep it had grown. My dermatologist barely looked at my cracking skin and said, “It’s probably cancer.”
Personal blog about living with basal cell carcinoma.
As I first learned of my cancer, I was desperate to find a site that I could relate to. One not written by a doctor, but by a patient my age. Couldn't find one!! Hope this helps some of you!
BCC almost never spreads (metastasizes) beyond the original tumor site. Only in exceedingly rare cases can it spread to other parts of the body and become life-threatening. It shouldn’t be taken lightly, though: it can be disfiguring if not treated promptly.
Early lesions are often small, translucent or pearly and have raised areas with telangiectasia.