Basal Cell Carcinoma
First, you need to know that it develops in areas under continuous and persistent sun exposure and it may take up to 30 years to develop. Also, known as the “Rodent Ulcers” for their capacity to burrow through the skin, muscle or bone if left untreated. This kind of skin cancers rarely spread to other organs. The most common appearance is an elevated, white colored, irregular shaped and ulcerated lesion. However, they can be pigmented too, or appear as an irritated reddish plaque and they may even be nodular shaped.
What is the treatment?
• Complete surgical removal is the best, safest method of treatment.
• Radiation can be used to maintain local spread of the disease.
• Cryotherapy (freezing)
• Topical Creams for early Basal Cell Carcinoma
• Fluorouracil (trade names Efudex and Carac)
• Imiquimod (trade name Aldara)
About Mohs Chemosurgery
This is a form of serial excision where the skin cancer is removed, the tumor is then placed on a grid and is inspected under the microscope. The tumor cells are then mapped out. If the cells involve or come close to the cut surgical margin, further skin is removed precisely in the mapped out area. The process is then repeated until there are no more tumor cells visible under the microscope.
What is Rapid Frozen Section Surgical Removal
The skin cancer is removed and the tumor is then frozen. Next, several cuts are made through the frozen tissue and tumor cells are inspected either close or touching the surgical cut margin If any cancerous cells are found in the frozen area , another specimen of skin is removed and then analyzed in a same fashion until no tumor cells are present under the microscope. Since the skin cancer is not completely mapped out and only isolated areas are looked at, rapid frozen section has only about a 95% accuracy rate. When the same tissue specimen is examined fully a few days later, tumor cells can be found to be present and further treatment is required.
Risks and advantages of the surgeries
Moh’s has the advantage of a more accurate initial analysis of the tissue. This is very important in zones such as the nose or the lips. The main problem with Mohs is that it takes a very long time till completion. The surgery is useless if the tumor is located in body parts where skin available for reconstruction is plenty.
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