Treatable Form of Cancer is Curable if Detected Early
Year after year millions of people are affected by one form of cancer or another. Basal cell skin cancer on the face or other highly exposed areas like the neck, shoulders, scalp and ears is the number one occurring cancer of all cancer diagnoses. Additionally it is the number one skin cancer diagnosis, far out pacing any other type of skin cancer. Basal cell skin cancer occurs in the basal cells which are located in the top layer of skin. If it grows it tends to grow down into additional layers of skin and is a tumor by nature. It may grow on many different types of people but is particularly dangerous to certain skin types and demographics.
Basal Cell Skin Cancer on the Face
As a skin cancer on face, this particular cancer is known to mainly affect older adults, however, this is quickly becoming a fallacy as it has begun to impact younger ages. In fact it is often diagnosed in more young adults now, whereas in the past this would be considered rare. Skin cancer on face tends to occur with excessive exposure to the sun. Sun exposure is the primary cause of this type of skin cancer. Although there are other ways that it can be contracted, by far, the sun in the biggest culprit, although wearing sunscreen can really bring the risk down. Additionally, if you have lighter or fair skin or have red or blond hair and if your eyes are blue, grey or green, you run a higher risk of contracting Basel cell skin cancer on the face. Additionally, the older you get, the more you have to watch your exposure to the sun and cover up.
- So what does it look like and what should you check for?
- Well, you should be checking your moles and other sores regularly for changes or additions to what you already had as well as patches of dry skin. It is up to you to be aware of what your skin condition is and to check for changes.
- One of the most tell-tale signs of this skin cancer is open sores that bleed and won't heal.
- They might ooze or they might not, but every time you think they are healed they reopen and bleed again.
- You should go get these checked out.
- Do you have a reddish patch that is new and seems a little dry and off?
- Will it not go away?
- Or perhaps you recently noticed a shiny bump, kind of like a mole but small and you don't think it was ever there before?
- You should get both of these checked out as well.
- Lastly, are you noticing something that kind of looks like a scar but you don't remember it before?
- Well you need to get this checked out for sure because the ones that look like scars can be the cancer with roots growing and getting deeper.
- So don't mess around with any of these, go see your doctor about them.
If you go to your doctor and he tells you that you have basel cell skin cancer remember it is the most treatable, curable cancer there is. So don't panic. Know your treatment options and with your doctor, pick the one that is right for you.
One of the treatments used the most is called MOHS surgery. In this outpatient procedure, after numbing you, the doctor takes off one small layer of skin at a time at the mole site with just a bit of healthy skin. He checks it under the microscope and if there is tumor in the slide he goes down another skin layer. He rechecks again and again, layer by layer and stops when the tumor is no longer showing in the slide. This takes the least amount of healthy skin tissue with it and is by far the most popular treatment. Most promising is that it has a 98% cure rate. Other procedures that you might read up on include excisional surgery ,where they go deep and take the whole thing with a lot of extra skin as a precaution. Also there is curettage and elecrodesiccation where they scrape and burn the growth. Usually a couple of visits are necessary.
Skin cancer does have a risk of recurrence. Basal sking cancer found on the scalp and or skin cancer on the nose are particularly pesky and need a good follow up and watching by you and your doctor. Skin cancer, although not pleasant, if discovered early is very curable. However, let's try to avoid it to begin with. Use sun screen, cover up and stay out of the sun during its most powerful hours. That's a really good start for skin cancer prevention.