How Serious Is Basal Cell Carcinoma Skin Cancer?
Basal cell carcinoma, or BCC, is the most common form of non-melanoma skin cancer, and when paired together with squamous cell carcinoma, or SCC, these are the most common types of cancer in America overall. About one in four Americans will develop non-melanoma skin cancer at some point in their lives (many people will deal with BCC or SCC — or both in rarer cases — multiple times, in fact), so in Spokane, WA skin cancer is likely to afflict some 25,000-plus people given the current population of the city. In other words, basal cell cancer is not rare.
But just because BCC is common does not mean it is not serious. Think of it like this: You would not be terrified of a candle that toppled over onto a tablecloth, but if you left that little flame to its own devices, the resulting home fire that could spread as a result could be a disaster. If treated rapidly as soon as it is diagnosed, BCC is not life threatening and can usually be completely cured on the first round of treatment. (Squamous cell cancer spreads more rapidly and can be much more dangerous and potentially deadly, but treated fast it too is highly curable with a nearly 100% survival rate in patients without notable co-morbidities.)
If you are looking for noninvasive skin cancer treatment in Spokane WA, you are already taking the first steps toward getting a cure for your skin cancer. The next step is to learn all you can while also finding a great skin cancer dermatologist in Spokane who can be a part of the solution.
Who Is at Risk for Basal Cell Cancer?
Anyone can get skin cancer, but BCC does have a much higher occurrence in people who have spent a lot of their lives in the sun, especially without diligent use of sunblock and clothes covering skin. If your hobbies always have you outdoors or you work outside, the skin regularly exposed to the sun’s UV light is much more likely to develop basal cell cancer. This type of skin cancer does occur more often in people with fair skin and does afflict older people more often, but even people in their 20s may be at risk, and ultimately skin cancer does not discriminate who it affects.
What Are the Symptoms of Basal Cell Skin Cancer?
Basal cell cancer photos you see online or images of skin cancer in medical books or journals reveal one of the most insidious things about skin cancer: its symptoms can present themselves in many different ways. There are common symptoms of skin cancer and we’ll cover those in a moment, but if you see something on your skin that seems out of place, you need to get to a dermatologist in Spokane who deals with skin cancer even if it does not match these common non-melanoma skin cancer symptoms.
- Raised Bumps without Other Explanation: A raised bump of notable size, more than a few millimeters across, that has a shiny, pearlescent sheen and is reddish, pink, or white may be a sign of skin cancer.
- Unexplained Sores or Lesions: Open and festering sores or little wounds that have no clear cause and that don’t heal normally are a common sign of skin cancer.
- Flaky Patches of Waxy Skin: Often confused with age spots, yellow, gray, or ashen and waxy patches of skin that slough away in pieces often indicate skin cancer.
- Irregular Moles: Any mole that is changing its shape or size and that is of unusual color and has fluid borders is a cause for concern, especially as it may indicate the presence of the far more serious melanoma type of skin cancer.
If you see these or any other potential signs of skin cancer, get to a Spokane dermatologist and get a diagnosis right away.
The Best Skin Cancer Care in Spokane Washington
There are many treatments skin cancer doctors in Spokane can use to treat non-melanoma skin cancer, from cryosurgery using liquid nitrogen to freeze off a carcinoma to excisions surgery that cuts the cancer out to topical medications with light therapy. But for many skin cancer patients, the best choice will be Superficial Radio Therapy. Also called SRT and often performed with the SRT-100, an FDA-cleared device made by Sensus Healthcare and popular with dermatologists around the globe, this treatment uses safe, concentrated doses of radiation that penetrate only a few millimeters into the skin and can disrupt cancer cell DNA and stop its spread without damaging nearby healthy tissue. SRT is a safe, almost painless outpatient procedure that you should discuss with your Spokane skin cancer specialist at your very first consultation.