3 Treatment Options For Basal Cell Carcinoma

Posted on: 4 October 2017

Most new cancers involve the skin, but most people do not fully understand the severity of skin cancer. Basal Cell Carcinoma affects an estimated 4 million Americans each year and it is one of the most common recurring types of cancer, so proper understanding of this disease is key if you or a loved one is affected. While most people think of chemotherapy in terms of fighting cancer, other treatments are available for patients with Basal Cell Carcinoma. Here are a few treatment options to consider if you or a loved one are fighting BCC:

Mohs Microscopic Surgery

During Mohs surgery, your doctor will remove a thin layer of tissue that contains the cancerous tumor. As each layer of tissue is removed, the doctor will inspect the tissue under a microscope for further signs of cancer.

If the removed tissue does contain cancer, an additional layer of tissue will be removed. The process is repeated until the last excised layer of tissue is free from any signs of cancer.

Mohs microscopic surgery is one of the most effective options since it is capable of removing cancerous cells from multiple layers of skin tissue, if necessary.

Excisional Surgery

Excisional Surgery is one of the most commonly used methods to remove cancerous growths on the skin. During the procedure, the doctor will use a scalpel to cut out the cancerous tumor and skin and tissue that surrounds the growth.

Once the skin is removed, the tissue is sent to a lab to determine if any cancer is present. Further excisions may be necessary to remove more skin if the specimen contains cancerous cells or growths.


Cryosurgery involves freezing cancerous growths and tumors in an attempt to destroy them. To begin the procedure, your doctor will dip a small cotton swab into liquid nitrogen. In some instances, cryosurgery is applied using a spray device.

The liquid nitrogen is applied, whether through a cotton swab or spray, to the cancerous growth. Once the liquid nitrogen hits the growth, it will begin to blister and crust, eventually falling off within a period of a few weeks.

Since cryosurgery does not treat underlying areas of the skin, it is not suited for patients with skin cancer that has spread from growths. If your basal cell carcinoma is affecting the surface of the skin only, cryosurgery may be a good option for you.

Chemotherapy and radiation are common cancer treatments, but removing cancerous tumors through different methods is possible. To learn more about your treatment options for BCC, consult your oncologist today.