Basal Cell Cancer – Superficial Basal Cell Cancer

December 22nd, 2010

Superficial Basal Cell Cancers are the most common skin cancer I encounter in my Woodlands dermatology and Conroe dermatology offices.  Superficial Basal Cell Cancers begin as red scaly plaques that can be mistaken for eczema or a rash by many patients.  They have a characteristic “rolled border” in which the edges are slightly elevated above the skin.  Superficial Basal Cell Cancers are most commonly found on the shoulders, chest and back; whereas, Nodular Basal Cell Cancers are most often located on the face.  If a  lesion is suspicious for a Superficial Basal Cell Cancer, a skin biopsy should be performed to confirm the diagnosis.  Superficial Basal Cell Cancers are confined to the epidermis as they have not invaded deeper into the skin.  However, superficial Basal Cell Cancers can become very large as they spread laterally along the surface of the epidermis and can be several inches in diameter.  Superficial Basal Cell Cancers are most commonly treated by excision in the dermatology clinic, but they can be treated with Mohs surgery, Aldara cream, Efudex cream, or electrodessication and curretage.