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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is basal cell carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma is a common type of skin cancer that originates in the basal cells, deep within the skin.
What are the signs and symptoms of basal cell carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinomas show up as crusty bumps or sores that bleed easily and do not easily heal. They are typically found on the head, neck, shoulders and chest. However, they can occur anywhere. They are often pale, waxy, …
What causes basal cell carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma occurs when the DNA of basal cells is damaged, causing them to replicate uncontrollably. Cell damage resulting in skin cancer is caused by UV radiation, which can come from sunlight and solariums. Total lifetime exposure, but also the …
Who gets basal cell carcinoma?
Although anyone can get basal cell carcinoma, the risk increases with age and is also higher if you have a family history of the disease, a weakened immune system, or if you are regularly exposed to UV radiation.
How is basal cell carcinoma diagnosed?
Basal cell carcinoma is diagnosed by a pathologist examining a skin biopsy under a microscope.
How is basal cell carcinoma treated?
Basal cell carcinoma is treated with surgery to remove the affected area and sometimes with laser surgery, electrodessication and curettage, as well as topical biologic, radiation, chemo and photodynamic therapy.
Can basal cell carcinoma be prevented?
You cannot prevent skin cancer, but you can reduce your risk by minimizing your exposure to UV radiation during peak UV times. You can also use shade, wear sunscreen and protective clothing such as hats and long-sleeved collared shirts to protect the …
What are the chances of basal cell carcinoma returning?
It is common for basal cell carcinoma to recur. How likely they are to recur depends on their location, with cancers on the face the most likely.
About this article
Author: Jonathan Meddings BMedLabSc (Hons)
First answered: 22 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.2 out of 5
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