CANCER TYPES

Basal Cell Carcinoma

About Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. More than 4 million people are diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma every year. This form of skin cancer originates in the basal cells, which exist in the skin and are responsible for producing new skin cells as old skin cells expire.

Basal cell carcinoma most commonly occurs in older individuals, though it can potentially affect anyone of any age. Despite how common basal cell carcinoma is, it is a slow-growing skin cancer, making it easy to treat in a potential patient. Most cases of basal cell carcinoma are curable and do not result in significant damage. Read on to learn more about basal cell carcinoma, how it can be treated, as well as natural treatment modalities.

Causes and Risk Factors

As with all other forms of cancer, basal cell carcinoma is caused by DNA damage that causes cells to grow unregulated. As the cancer cells grow out of control, they form into lesions or large tissue masses known as tumors. If left untreated, the cancerous cells can eventually spread to other organs and other areas of the body.

The exact cause of this cellular mutation is not well understood, but doctors do know that long-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation (from the sun or from tanning lights) can contribute to the DNA damage that results in basal cell carcinoma. This risk increases if you live in a sunny or high-altitude area.

A family history of basal cell carcinoma may also be a risk factor, but this may be more attributed to shared family experiences instead of hereditary factors. As mentioned, basal cell cancer is also more common in older individuals as it can take decades to develop. Any conditions or medications that suppress the immune system can also increase your risk. Exposure to arsenic has also been found to be a risk factor for basal cell carcinoma.

Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging

Basal cell carcinomas usually appear as slightly translucent bumps on the skin that may be pearly white or pink in color. Growths and sores can also appear in a patient as:

Brown, black, or blue lesions with a translucent border
White, waxy lesions that look like scars
Flat, scaly, reddish patches

These lesions occur most commonly on areas exposed to the sun, like the head, neck, and arms. However, carcinomas can form on areas that are normally covered, including the genitalia.

The only way to know for sure that you have basal cell carcinoma is to get a professional diagnosis from your healthcare provider. Testing and diagnosis usually involve a general physical exam and a skin exam. If you have any lesions or sores, your doctor may take a skin sample to identify possible cancer cells.

If your doctor does diagnose you with basal cell carcinoma, they may proceed to the staging phase. Stages for basal cell carcinoma range from 0 to 4. Higher numbers refer to more severe carcinomas that have spread to other organs in the body.

Alternative Treatments for Basal Cell Carcinoma

When caught early, most forms of basal cell cancer are easy to treat and even cure due to various therapy options. Treatment usually involves surgical removal of the lesion and healthy tissue surrounding that lesion. If you are unable to undergo surgery or if the cancer is more severe, your doctor may resort to radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or topical treatment. However, these treatment modalities have risk factors and can cause unwanted side effects that weaken your immune system.

Immunity Therapy Center offers a wide range of alternative treatments for basal cell carcinoma that can help to eliminate the cancer and support healing without sacrificing your overall health or burdening your immune system. There are also various clinical trials offered to help you avoid invasive surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. We work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that can be adjusted as your condition changes. Contact us to receive a customized treatment plan today.

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