Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a type of slow growing skin cancer and roughly 10 million cases are diagnosed per year in India. Basal Cell Cancer symptoms occurs when cell in skin replaces old cells when it dies. Usually occur on area of skin that is exposed to sunlight especially head and neck. People who go sun bathing, use tanning beds are at higher risk. Family history of basal or squamous cell carcinoma can increase risk in other members.
Genetic studies have reported that most of basal cell carcinoma is caused by over exposure of harmful UV (ultraviolet) radiation. UV light damages the DNA of cells exposed to sunlight causing loss of function in PTCH1 gene. Mutations in suppressor gene and proto-onco gene have also been implicated in pathogenesis of skin cancer.
Basal Cell Cancer Symptoms are easy to spot such as:
- A crusty sore on skin that can bleed and cured; but resurfaces after sometime on same spot.
- Irritated patch of skin, mostly dry that is visible on shoulder, face, neck, hand, back or chest
which can be itchy, bleeding or causing no or discomfort.
- A transparent skin bump or nodule with rough margins that can be tan, brown, pinkish or black
that is usually considered as normal mole but keeps expanding at a very slow pace.
- A slightly raised protuberance of skin which has rolled edges, clear visible blood vessels and can
possibly rupture on scratching.
- White waxy patch on skin that usually appears scaly or yellowish mark with poorly defined
edges can be indicative of invasive BCCs.
Symptoms of all the BCCs are different in appearance and often resemble other non cancerous conditions like eczema or psoriasis. Basal cell carcinoma is completely curable. Treatment usually involves surgical removal of affected cancer, radiation therapy, topical treatment, Mohs surgery or freezing of cancer cells with liquid nitrogen.
Look out for any abnormal changes on previously treated skin site and report your dermatologist immediately as it can be a new symptom. Self skin check from tip to toe over entire body for any new bump. Stay sun protected all time of year. Use a good sunscreen above 30 SPF and keep re applying every 60 to 80 minutes on skin exposed to sunlight.
Get diagnosed and treated on time. So don’t be late and stay sun safe.
- Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Nov; 18(11): 2485.Published online 2017 Nov 22. doi: 10.3390/ijms18112485
– Ruchi Talati