Skin Cancer

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of cancer of humans. It occurs most often on the face, neck, arms and hands. As for SCC, the most important risk factor for BCC is ultraviolet light exposure for many years – it is not necessarily related to tanning bed use although tanning beds and a history of phototherapy for psoriasis are significant risk factors for BCC. BCC most often looks like a “non-healing sore” or persistent pimple. However, it may also resemble a “scar”.

Basal cell carcinoma is best treated by surgical removal. For many BCCs, the method of choice for removal is called Mohs’ micrographic surgery (MMS). This is a combination pathology / surgical procedure. With conventional skin cancer surgery, the cancer is removed and the defect is immediately closed with stitches. However, there is no guarantee that the cancer has been removed. Mohs’ micrographic surgery is different in that the tissue is examined under the microscope while you are still in the clinic and only when there is absolute assurance that all of the cancer has been removed is the area closed with stitches.  The microscopic examination / diagnosis part of the procedure is often regarded in the dermatology community as the most difficult part of the procedure. However, Dr Alanen is a recognized subspecialist in microscopic diagnosis of skin cancer.

Please look at the photographs below.

If you are concerned that you have a BCC, please make an appointment
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