Treatment for Basal Cell Skin Cancer
Basal cell skin cancer is the type of skin cancer where the cancer cells are found in the outer layer of the skin. It does not grow fast, hence rarely spreads to the other parts of the body. Exposure to ultraviolet radiations is often found the cause of basal cell skin cancer. Symptoms include enlargement of moles, discoloration of skin, skin ulcers and changes in skin that do not heal quickly. If such symptoms are observed then a skin biopsy is done by the dermatologist, along with a skin x-ray and some blood tests to confirm the occurrence of skin cancer inside the patient’s body. Options of treatment for basal cell skin cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, topical chemotherapy and photodynamic therapy.
Surgery for Basal Cell Skin Cancer Treatment
The most common surgical procedure followed for the treatment of skin cancer is electrodesiccation. In this method, the affected portion is removed using a curettage and then electri current is passed through the edges of the cut to kill the remaining cancerous cells. Curettage is a spoon like surgical tool used to cut and remove the cancerous cells from the affected area of the skin. Apart from this, one of the following - mohs surgery, excisional skin surgery, cryosurgery and laser surgery is also done to relieve the patient from skin cancer. In mohs surgery, thin sections of the cancerous part are removed till no cancer cell is observed under the microscopic slides prepared from the taken sections. In excisional skin surgery, either the affected part is numbed and then removed using a scalpel or the affected part is shaved off from the surface of the skin, using a blade. In case of cryosurgery, the affected portion is freezed using liquid nitrogen, to kill the cancerous cells. And, in case of laser surgery, beam of laser is passed and the affected portion is cut off using a surgical knife, in the presence of the laser beam.
Chemotherapy for Basal Cell Skin Cancer Treatment
Chemotherapy to cure basal cell skin cancer is often given using combinations of different drugs in the form of cream or lotions. Such a type of chemotherapy treatment is termed as topical chemotherapy. It is mostly given in combination with fluorouracil. Topical chemotherapy as an option of treatment for skin cancer is mostly given before surgery, to shrink the cancerous cells. is also used in the treatment of treatment for melanoma cancer.
Radiation Therapy for Basal Cell Skin Cancer Treatment
Radiation therapy is mostly not given to cure basal cell skin cancer. But in cases, where surgery cannot be performed, radiation therapy is given as an option of treatment for cancer. In these cases, the cancerous cells are killed by passing external radiations of high energy rays. In some cases, internal radiation therapy may be given to the person. In this case, radioactive substances are placed near the affected area to kill the carcinoma cells. These substances may be in the form of needles or wires.
Photodynamic Therapy for Basal Cell Skin Cancer Treatment
Photodynamic therapy involves the application of beam of laser on the affected part of the skin to kill the cancerous cells present in that area. In this method, a chemical cream, which is activated only in the presence of laser, is applied on the affected portion and then the beam of laser is passed. The chemicals of the cream react with the cancerous cells and kill them.
These were the options of treatment for basal cell skin cancer. As this cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body, it is not fatal and can be cured using any of the above methods.