Do I Really Need Surgery to Remove My Skin Cancer?
posted by The Live Better Team | June 6, 2018
Most people know that melanoma is a dangerous skin cancer, but they usually don’t view basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the most common type of skin cancer, in the same light. BCC is rarely life-threatening and, coupled with the cost of treatment or the potential for scarring, patients sometimes think it’s not important to remove.
But the truth is BCC is just like any other cancer in the sense that early treatment is key to preventing complications. So do you really need surgery to remove BCC? Absolutely.
BCC usually develops on skin that sees the sun most frequently, such as the head, neck and hands, but it can occur in any part of the body.
Signs of BCC include:
If you see spots or growths with these features, it’s important to contact your doctor.
Basal cell carcinomas rarely metastasize (spread), but they can still cause significant deformity, especially when located on the face. BCCs continue to grow slowly, and even though they may look small on the surface, it’s possible that the tumor is penetrating deeper into the skin.
When left untreated long enough, BCCs can:
It’s important to remember that even with successful treatment, BCC can recur and your risk of developing another BCC increases. In fact, about 60 percent of people who have had one skin cancer will develop another within 10 years. A BCC diagnosis is also a risk factor for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Practice these prevention techniques now to protect yourself from melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers.
BCC, although not as deadly as melanoma, is still a serious condition that should not be left untreated. If you have concerns about the removal process or what you can expect, consult your doctor. He or she will be able to help you find the best treatment for your situation.
“ASK THE EXPERT: Can I Leave My Cancer Alone?” Skin Cancer Foundation.
“Basal Cell Carcinoma.” American Academy of Dermatology.
“Skin Cancer Symptoms.” Cancer Center Treatments of America.
“Basal Cell Carcinoma.” Medscape.
“Basal Cell Carcinoma.” Healthline.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.