Basal cell carcinoma is a malignant tumor of epithelial layer of the skin.
Basal cell carcinoma is common among the elderly, it develops slowly and appears most often on the face and on the scalp (skin of the head where the hair grows). Bazalioma never infiltrates in mucous membranes. Metastases usually do not occur on cases of basal cell cancer. This type of cancer is considered to be somewhere in the middle between benign and malignant tumors of the skin.
Types of basal cell carcinoma:
- Superficial basal cell carcinoma – the cancer grows only in the upper layers of the skin.
- Deep-infiltrating basal cell carcinoma is characterized by infiltration into the lower layer of the skin.
- Papillary basal cell carcinoma has a different, elongated structure and rapid growth.
The disease mainly occurs in the elderly. Neoplasm develops in the eyes area, on the nose wings, nasolabial folds, neck, head, above the upper lip. Statistics show that people who are constantly exposed to the sunlight have a high risk of basal cell carcinoma occurrence.
The appearance of basal cell cancer depends also on skin type and affects mostly people with bright skin.
The presence of following factors also carachterizes higher risk groups for the occurrence of basal cell carcinoma:
- Old skin scars
- Chronic skin disease.
- Exposure to ionizing rays, X-rays.
- Long stay in an area, where carcinogens of some sort are present.
- Precancerous conditions, such as: xeroderma pigmentosum, Bowen’s disease and several others
Symptoms of the disease
The first symptom of the disease is the appearance of flat or hemispherical papules on the skin. The colour go the lesion is practically identical to the skin color. Nodules cause unpleasant sensations and itching. Over time, the tumor starts growing in size.
There are several types of basal cell carcinoma:
- Nodular – the tumor is small, and it’s itching and bleeding.
- Superficial – the lesion is usually pink, has a smooth surface, reacts well to therapy.
- Flat – lesion with a clear outline, with a rough surface coloured in red.
Diagnostics of basal cell carcinoma
Evaluation of basal cell carcinoma is not complicated. When the tumors appears on the skin of the patient, it is necessary to conduct a biopsy procedure of the affected area, followed by cytological and histological examination.
Treatment of basal cell carcinoma
- Medication treatment is carried out by administering the patient with cytostatic drugs in small doses.
- Surgical treatment is the treatment of choice in small to moderate size basal cell carcinoma cases. Surgeons remove the tumor layer by layer under general anesthesia. This method of treatment is most frequently chosen for dealing with recurrent cancer.
- Radiotherapy is used in cases of cancers sensitive to radiation. Radiation therapy is often used in the early stages of the disease because it can stop the division of abnormal cells. Small tumors can be treated very well with the assistance of this technology.
- Cryotherapy. During this procedure, the tumor is frozen with liquid nitrogen, which leads to the death of cancer cells. All manipulations are carried out without anesthesia, since the procedure is absolutely painless. For best results, cryotherapy is frequently combined with ultrasound therapy. This method of basal cell carcinoma treatment has no contraindications, but it is important to stress out, that it is only effective with surface formations.
- Laser therapy is also used, but it is relevant only in the early stages of basal cell skin cancer, when the tumor affects only the upper layers of the skin.
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