After you've been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, your next step is obviously to find the right treatment option for you. The good news is that while this has the potential of progressing into an advanced case of cancer, there are several options that your doctor may recommend to get rid of the cancer completely or at least slow down its progression. The best choice of how to treat basal cell skin cancer for you will likely be based on the type of lesions you have, their size, location, your age, and your overall health. Most of these treatments can be performed on an outpatient basis so there is no need of extended hospital stays.
Curettage and Electrodesiccation:
This form of treatment is usually performed when the outbreak is very small and in its early stages. The growth is simply scraped off with an instrument called a curette. Once the tumor is removed, the remaining cells are literally burned off with an electrocautery needle. This procedure has shown a high 95% success rate as long as the tumors are caught early. It only requires a local anesthesia and the pain from the treatment is minimal.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery:
This surgery, named after the physician that first used it, cuts away a thin layer of the tumor and then examines it in detail under a microscope. If there is any sign of cancerous cells the process is repeated with another layer of the tissue. The physician continues to cut away layers of tumor until the cells obtained are completely cancer free. The advantage of this technique is that you save more of your healthy tissue and it has the highest rate of success overall (99%). It works best on large tumors and in areas of the skin where appearance is important.
One of the ways of how to treat basal cell skin cancer requires a scalpel to remove the entire growth from the skin. Once the growth is removed, a tissue sample is taken from the surrounding skin and sent to a lab for testing. If cancerous cells are found, the treatment is repeated until the area is totally cancer free. The success rate of this treatment is around 95%
Radiation treatment involves X-ray beams directed at the tumor. There is no need to cut the tumor away to completely eliminate the cancerous cells, but several treatments may be necessary. Patients often have to repeat the treatment on a daily basis or over a period of several weeks before all the cancer is totally removed. The success rate is around 90%.
This process involves deep freezing of the cancerous tumor with liquid nitrogen. A local anesthetic may be used to minimize the amount of pain. The treatment may need to be repeated several times before the tumor is removed. The success rate of this treatment is between 85-90%.
There are quite a few other ways of how to treat basal cell skin cancer but the best treatment available is to avoid getting it in the first place. We all love the feel of the warm sun on our skin, especially if we live in colder climates, but by making sure that you remain covered, wear sunscreen, and use good judgment, you can minimize your risk of developing this condition.