Basal-cell carcinoma or basalioma is the most common skin tumour, but also the least dangerous and it is almost always cured when it is diagnosed early and treated, but if not treated it destroys the surrounding tissue.
The appearance of a reddish patch or skin change like a bright or pink node with a scaling crust are often the first observing signs.
What triggers basal cell carcinoma?
The main cause is UV radiation, that is, prolonged exposure to the sun – “the skin remembers everything”. However, sometimes it can develop on the parts of the body that are rarely or never exposed to the sun. The exposure to some toxic substances, such as arsenic, tar, industrial oil, and radiation can also trigger the disease.
Who has the highest incidence of basal-cell carcinoma?
Blue-eyed and light-skinned people have less melanin, so they are less resistant to the harmful solar radiation.
Long-term exposure to UV radiation — this type of skin cancer is more common in people who are exposed to the sun for a long time due to work, such as farmers, or on a recreational basis (sunbathing, outdoor sports), in people who often go to tanning salons, as well as in people living in the areas of high UV radiation.
Older age— skin cancers most often develop after the age of 50. .
Hereditary factor— studies have shown that in patients with basal-cell carcinoma, DNA of certain genes is often damaged, which means that people who have a history of skin cancer in the family are more prone to developing this disease.
Where does basal-cell carcinoma most often appear?
Most often it appears on the areas of the skin that are the most exposed to the sun – on the head and neck, on the face, on the trunk, and less often on the hands and feet.
What does basal-cell carcinoma look like?
There are several types of this tumour, so the clinical picture can be different.
Nodular basal-cell carcinoma looks like a pearly white or pink waxy lump with superficial blood vessels that can often be seen on it, gradually growing over time, and a small wound or crust often forms in the middle, which falls off and forms again.
Superficial basal-cell carcinoma is in the form of thin brown or red patches or plaques on the skin that most often appear on the back or chest. It is easily mistaken for dry skin, eczema, but do not respond to the use of hydrant creams or topical corticosteroids. Patients usually notice that they have a wound that can’t heal.
Pigmented basal cell carcinoma looks like darker, black-brown macules that do not heal and it resembles a melanoma.
There are, also, more forms that rarely occur, such as sclerosing basal cell carcinoma,that has a form of a light and slightly concave scar.
Diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of
Diagnosis is made based on a clinical and dermoscopic examination, as well as pathohistological findings.
Even though it grows slowly and very rarely metastases develop, it can recur (reappear in the same place after removal). Its growth is both locally infiltrative and destructive, so the treatment consisting of surgical removal or, less often, of some other type of local destructive treatment is mandatory.
The prognosis is good after complete surgical removal of the lesion.