Kentfield, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/20/2014 -- Dr. Diana Parnell of the Cosmetic and Laser Surgery Institute in San Francisco promotes the importance of skin exams, sun protection and early treatment of sun-damage that can lead to the development of skin cancer. There are several types of skin cancer, but one particularly common and easy to treat type is called basal cell carcinoma. With over 800,000 annual cases occurring in the United States, much is known about basal cell carcinoma and how to successfully treat it before it’s too late. This type of skin cancer is the result of significant sun exposure. Over 90% of occurrences are noted on areas of the body which receive significant sun exposure. While basal cell carcinomas rarely metastasize or spread, they do not just “disappear” of their own accord and can lead to much more serious conditions if left untreated, such as the loss of an ear, nose, etc.
This slow growing type of skin cancer may initially appear as a small blemish, like a pimple. It may appear as a shiny, pink area, look similar to a scar, or pop up as a sore that will not heal, and may bleed slightly. There may or may not be a noticeable change of pigment. Fortunately, with the proper treatment and timely action, basal cell carcinoma boasts a high cure rate. Appropriate treatment is determined once the type, size, shape and location of the carcinoma has been diagnosed. A biopsy follows, which helps prescribe the best method of treatment by providing a profile of the appearance. Common treatments for this type of carcinoma are electrodessication and ‘curettage,’ which entails the scraping and cauterizing with an electric needle for removal. Other treatments are surgical excision, liquid nitrogen cryosurgery, topical anti-cancer agents, the Mohs surgical regimen or x-ray therapy.
Current studies show that those who’ve developed basal cell carcinoma in the past have a 43% chance of recurring development in 5 years, which is why it’s so important to Dr. Parnell that her patients get their yearly skin exams and perform self-exams at home, especially considering the sunny summer weather that encourages tanning and exposure. Make note of non-healing sores, growing lesions, or spotty bleeding, and make a dermatologist appointment. Don’t forget to fight basal cell carcinoma with proper sunblock and ample shade. To learn more about the Cosmetic and Laser Surgery Institute, visit them online at www.cosmetic-lasersurg.com.