Basal Cell Carcinoma Treated by Board Certified Dermatologists in Baltimore

Dermatology at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

The physician team of The Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center at Mercy offers complete and comprehensive care for a wide variety of skin malignancies. Dermatologists work with colleagues to diagnose and treat varying stages of non-melanoma skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma.

About the Condition

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. It forms in the basal cells, which are responsible for producing new skin cells as old ones die off.

Basal cell carcinoma typically appears on skin that is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or tanning beds. It typically appears on the head, neck and face, but may occur elsewhere on the body.

Basal cell carcinoma grows slowly. While it rarely spreads to other parts of the body, treatment is important because it can grow wide and deep, destroying skin tissue and bone. It is important for patients to know the symptoms of basal cell carcinoma, and to see an experienced dermatologist at its first signs in order to treat the condition before it spreads.

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

The symptoms and appearance of basal cell carcinoma can vary greatly. It will typically act as a sore that won’t heal and occasionally bleeds, oozes or peels. Basal cell carcinoma may also appear in any of the following ways:

  • A domed-shape skin growth, often with visible blood vessels
  • A flat, off-colored, scaly patch
  • A waxy, white growth that looks like a scar

Your dermatologist will start the diagnosis with a physical examination and a review of your medical and family history. In many cases, a biopsy may be necessary to diagnose basal cell carcinoma. During a biopsy, your physician removes all or part of the suspected growth for additional tests and examination by a pathologist.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Treatment for minor cases of basal cell carcinoma that only reach the top layer of skin may only require topical treatments. More commonly, surgery is required to remove the cancerous growth, and in some cases, the surrounding tissue. 

Mercy's dermatologists, along with the experienced oncologists of The Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center at Mercy, will diagnose your condition and inform you on the best treatment options available for your needs.