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Basal Cell Carcinoma – Treatment – a common type of skin cancer

Basal Cell Carcinoma is a very common type of skin cancer. It can take years to surface and spread and is typically of three types. Basal cell carcinoma usually looks like a skin condition, however only a good dermatologist can tell you if it is a cancer. And therefore one must go in for regular check ups to ensure that one can treat the cancer if a malignant basal cell carcinoma tumor is lurking underneath the skin surface.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of basal cell carcinoma it is important that you check with your dermatologist at the earliest. They will help detect the tumor and will prescribe treatment that will help kill the cancer cells. A few treatment options are highlighted below:

Curettage and Electrodessication: Curettage and Electrodessication involve getting rid of the tumor with the help of an electrocautery device. The treatment involves destroying the tumor and then scraping the surface with the assistance of a curette. Often one can differentiate the tissues as being diseased or normal simply by feeling the texture while scraping the area. The process is carried on a few times to make sure that the tumor has been removed in totality. However this process should only be followed for tumors that are relatively small – less than 6 mm as the procedure may leave a scar.

Simple Excision: As the name suggests this procedure is very simple and involves a surgical excision of the lesion and a little bit of the normal skin. This process as apposed to curettage and electrodessication is ideal for tumors that are larger about 2 cm in size. This procedure is usually used to treat tumors that surface on the forehead, trunk, legs or cheek. Simple excision is one of the most easiest and inexpensive procedures. However it is essential that one consults only a good surgeon as the difference between the diseased skin and normal skin has to be judged only with the help of a naked and experienced eye.

Mohs’ Micrographic Surgery: Only a Moh’s surgeon can perform this surgery. The Moh’s Micrographic surgery is a very special kind of skin surgery that involves removal of the tumor surgically and instant examination under a microscope to figure out the margins. This process ensures that if any residual tumor is left it can be removed immediately. Under this procedure, the microscope is used to examine residual tissues over and over again to ensure that the area is wiped clean of the tumor. This is one of the best processes as it is definitive and it is most likely that the tumor will not occur again. However it is a very time consuming process and a very expensive one too.

Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is ideally used for patients who cannot undergo surgery. The process is simple and involves a course of radiation to the area that has been infected by the tumor. Often the procedure is used for tumors that are in areas that are difficult to operate on. The process is not very popular and is often used only where the tissue around the area infected needs to be preserved such as the lip.

Cryotherapy: This procedure is ideal for small, superficial and well defined tumors. It involves freezing the tissue in liquid nitrogen to destroy it. Cryotherapy is used as a treatment for actinic keratosis, which is a premalignant condition. This is indeed one of the most effective and efficient processes to destroy the tissue. However it cannot be used to treat a large number of cases.

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