Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is one of the three main forms of skin cancer that affect American adults. Fortunately, with regular skin exams and early detection, this type of cancer is highly treatable by a licensed dermatologist. At Tru-Skin Dermatology, we’re always monitoring patients for signs of skin cancer, even when they visit us for unrelated cosmetic treatments. We also offer Free Skin Cancer Screenings across the city. Visit the webpage to view our upcoming list of cancer screening dates and locations.

Tru-Skin Dermatology makes cancer screenings easy and accessible because we know that early detection is the key to effective and less-invasive treatment options. At our office, patients with basal cell carcinoma have access to multiple surgical and nonsurgical treatment options, so a cancer screening and diagnosis is only the first step in determining a personalized treatment plan with the guidance of our dermatologists. Please contact us today to make an appointment in our Austin office or visit any one of our traveling skin cancer screening events near you.

Basic information about basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinomas are named for the abnormal growths that affect the skin’s basal cells, the deepest layer of the epidermis. Because the epidermis is the visible, top layer of your skin, any growths or lesions at the basal cell level can develop to the point of becoming a visible red mark that may look like an open sore, a red or pink patch, a scar, or a shiny bump. These lesions often bleed.

Almost all cases of basal cell carcinoma occur on the face, head and scalp, or neck, though it is possible to see the lesions develop on the abdomen or hands. It’s the most common form of skin cancer because it’s caused by intense sun exposure, which shines damaging UV rays onto unprotected skin. At any age, patients can take preventive steps to avoid developing basal cell carcinoma by using a high SPF above factor 30 anytime they go outdoors (even on a cloudy day, UV rays still affect our skin).

Fortunately, this form of skin cancer is very slow growing and rarely spreads, or metastasizes, to other parts of the body. This means it’s usually not life-threatening as long as a dermatologist treats it as soon as it’s diagnosed.

Early warning signs of basal cell carcinoma

More than four million patients are diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma each year. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common forms of cancer anywhere in the body. It’s important to be aware of the most recognizable signs of basal cell carcinoma and make an immediate doctor’s appointment if you notice any of these warning signs. While the spot you notice may turn out to be harmless, it’s always better to ask a professional than to ignore a potential problem. Check your upper body regularly for:

* An open sore that continues to bleed or ooze instead of healing naturally

* A patch of skin that is consistently red or irritated on the face, shoulders, or chest that may itch or crust over

* A raised pink area with a rough border that may develop visible blood or crust near the center

* A shiny bump that looks like a mole in size or color

Because many of the early signs of skin cancer are easy to mistake for a straightforward wound or a normal feature like a freckle or mole, it’s critical—even life-saving—to get annual skin exams from a dermatologist. The doctors at Tru-Skin Dermatology are trained to notice and identify abnormal skin features, even if you visit us for a routine, unrelated cosmetic treatment.

Diagnosing skin cancer at Tru-Skin Dermatology

Whether you notice something unusual on your skin or our dermatologist spots a suspicious growth during an annual skin check, Tru-Skin Dermatology will perform a biopsy to confirm whether the growth is cancerous and, if so, to determine the type of skin cancer it is. This involves removing a small area of the affected skin by shaving off a piece or piercing a small hole to determine the full depth of the growth. The sample will be tested for an objective diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Malignant Melanoma, or other skin conditions.

Treatment options in our Austin office

Once accurately diagnosed, Tru-Skin Dermatology will be your supportive partner in understanding the condition, severity, and treatment options. In many cases, basal cell carcinoma can be treated non-surgically with the cutting-edge equipment in our office. In fact, our medical team is proud to be one of the first offices in the country to offer SRT-100 Vision™, an advanced ultrasound imaging tool for extremely precise radiation dosages. This FDA-approved process boasts a 95% cure rate with minimal invasiveness and no pain or recovery time.

If surgery is the best option for treatment, basal cell carcinoma is often treated with Mohs surgery, a simple procedure completed in just one office visit under local (not general) anesthesia. Mohs surgery involves the surgeon carefully removing the visible skin cancer as well as an extremely thin margin of surrounding skin. The surgeon then looks at the remove4d skin under a microscope looking for cancer cells. If they are found, another small area where the cells are located is removed, and is again looked at under the microscope. This process continues until the surgeon no longer sees cancer cells, which allows the patient to keep as much healthy skin as possible.

Please visit our Skin Cancer [ ] page to read more in-depth descriptions of both nonsurgical SRT-100 Vision™ and surgical treatments including Mohs surgery.

Connect with our community for safer skin

For anyone who has skin cancer or knows someone affected by a skin condition, we encourage you to join our community on social media, where we share helpful news, events, skin care updates, and even fun monthly contests and other welcoming content to support our patients. If you’re an avid radio fan, our dermatologist Dr. Ladd and his wife, Lurleen, host a radio show called the Dr. Dan Show. This airs every Sunday at 11 a.m. on KLBJ AM, 590, and FM, 99.7. Tune in until it’s time for your next annual skin exam!

Schedule a free skin cancer screening in our office.