Book
Appt

Written by Dr. Ringpfeil

Basal Cell Cancer

Basal Cell Cancer - Overview

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common malignant skin tumor. It is a painless, slow-growing form of non-melanoma skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma initiates in the top layer of the skin called the epidermis. Increased risk of disease is associated with light-colored skin, blue or green eyes, blond or red hair and over-exposure to UV rays, x-rays or other forms of radiation. Basal cell carcinoma almost never spreads inside the body. But, if left untreated, it may grow into surrounding areas and nearby tissues and bone. The majority of these cancers occur on areas of skin that are regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation.

Diagnosis

Basal cell carcinoma can be only slightly different than normal skin. The cancer may appear as bump or growth that is pearly or waxy, white or light pink, flesh-colored or brown. In some cases the skin may be just slightly raised or even flat. A new skin growth that bleeds easily or does not heal well may be first signs of basal cell carcinoma. Diagnosis requires a complete medical history and evaluation of the affected area of skin (size, shape, color, and texture of any suspicious areas), and often includes biopsy for examination by a pathologist.

Management

Complete removal of a basal cell cancer is the most important primary step. The rate of basal cell skin cancer locally returning is about 1-10% depending on the form of treatment. Untreated, basal cell cancer can spread to nearby tissues or structures, causing damage. This is most worrisome around the nose, eyes, and ears. Basal cell carcinoma rarely spreads to other parts of the body. However, occurrence of a basal cancer can signal that you had sufficient exposure to radiation over your lifetime making it more likely to grow additional basal cell carcinomas. Monthly self-examination of your skin is a critical process to notice any suspicious skin changes. Meticulous follow-up with your doctor twice a year is highly recommended.

Treatment and Medication

A number of therapies exist for treating basal cell carcinoma. The most appropriate one depends on the type, location and severity of the tumor. The most common basal cell carcinoma treatments are surgical excision including Mohs' surgery where necessary, electrodessication and curettage, freezing, laser surgery and topical treatments such as Tazarotene (Tazorac), imiquimod (Aldara) and 5-fluorouracil. Prescription medications require careful supervision for severe skin irritation as well as systemic side effects.

Coping

Primary aspects of coping with basal cell carcinoma relate to restrictions to sun exposure (leisure time and outdoor work) as further sun exposure will increase your chance to form basal cell carcinoma elsewhere on your exposed skin. In addition, one must adjust to the change in skin from the primary cancer as well as from the scar after removal of it. Depending on the severity, an important psychological aspect may be the sense of illness (cancer). Emotional reactions include worry, fear, irritation, doubt, guilt, and anxiety. The ideal approach to the disease is to understand the causes and implement preventative behavioral measures.

Prevention

The optimal way to prevent most basal cell carcinomas is to reduce your exposure to natural or artificial sunlight. Protect your skin by wearing a hat, long-sleeved shirts, long skirts, or pants. Always use sunscreen. Apply high-quality sunscreens that block both UVA and UVB light. Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply it at least every 2 hours. Use sunscreen on exposed areas all year round.

How can we help you?

SKIN

# of surveys: 3794
Last updated: 05/12/2019 12:53 PM

PATIENT RATINGS

Would you recommend us?

definitely
93.1%
probably
6.16%
maybe
0.58%
not likely
0.08%
no
0.02%

Compare our service to other similar practices

excellent
87.9%
very good
10.1%
good
1.8%
poor
0.06%
very poor
0%

Overall doctor performance

excellent
94.2%
very good
4.89%
good
0.80%
poor
0.03%
very poor
0%

The doctor listened to you attentively

excellent
93.9%
very good
4.97%
good
1.05%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0%

The doctor took time to answer your questions

excellent
94.0%
very good
4.66%
good
1.27%
poor
0.02%
very poor
0%

The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
94.3%
very good
4.16%
good
1.25%
poor
0.14%
very poor
0.02%

The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
92.0%
very good
5.69%
good
2.18%
poor
0.11%
very poor
0.0%

Front desk performance

excellent
85.6%
very good
10.2%
good
3.66%
poor
0.31%
very poor
0.08%

Aesthetician performance

excellent
88.6%
very good
7.61%
good
3.39%
poor
0.24%
very poor
0.08%

Office comfort

excellent
90.9%
very good
6.93%
good
2.08%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0.05%

Parking

excellent
66.4%
very good
14.4%
good
15.7%
poor
2.49%
very poor
0.9%

Friendliness of the staff during appointment

excellent
90.9%
very good
7.23%
good
1.85%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0%

What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

The MD had a conprehensive plan for the dermatological care of my son

#12020-05-12

The doctor and physicians assistant were both very professional and knowledgeable.

#22019-12-18

The friendly people who work here are great. Probably the best thing, though, is the timeliness of service. Most physicians make me wait far past my appointment time. I appreciate on-time service immensely!

#32019-11-25

Doctor made eye contact while talking - this is truly the sign of a caring person. Thank you.

#42020-02-07

I liked the waiting room it was really nice.

#52020-01-20

Linda was very thorough and took time with me rather than rush me like she couldn't wait to get to the next patient. I've had that experience before so I appreciated that.

#62011-06-02 14:59:00

It is clearly evident taht Dr. Ringpfeil is genuinely motivated by listening to your full symptoms, issues and then selecting the approach that is best for you. I scheduled my appt with the hopes of undergoing pricey treatments. Rather than signing me up and taking my check, she insisted that we first address the cause of my problems. Obviously, her goal is to heal the patient, not simply select the treatments that would be most lucrative for her. Impressive.

#72019-10-19

I like that everything was fully explained to me than before from previous doctors.

#82019-10-01

I love the decor of the office.

#92010-11-08 15:17:21

How great everyone treats you here!

#102019-06-03

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

all good

#12010-10-14 12:21:49

It was good

#22019-09-30

I wish there is a more flexible schedule for the morning visit.

#32010-12-16 12:15:00

I wish the aesthetician was available earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon to accomodate working women.

#42020-03-20

this computer system doesnt show the full anser in some cases. and some required tabs shouldnt be required, like cell phone and work phone.

#52019-06-23

I can't think of anything.

#62010-08-25 14:18:06

I can't think how anything could have been better.

#72019-08-25

Everything was great.

#82020-01-07

Service was fantastic. No suggestions.

#92011-11-29 13:58:45

With such excellent service, there's nothing I can add to it. I am a very satisfied patient.

#102010-09-09 11:12:17