Why choose us for basal cell carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is cancer that grows from the bottom, or basal, layer of the epidermis (top layer of skin). At Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, our multidisciplinary team of dermatology and cancer experts delivers leading therapies for BCC.
Our board-certified dermatologists understand the nuances of how basal cell carcinoma and other skin cancers look and act. We offer research-based treatments, including Mohs surgery, to remove cancer with minimal scarring.
Find out more about our skin cancer program.
What you need to know about basal cell carcinoma
- Basal cell carcinoma is the most common of all skin cancers. It grows slowly and rarely spreads to other parts of your body. Prompt treatment can often cure BCC.
- When left untreated for long periods of time, BCC may spread to nearby muscle, bone or even brain tissue. In rare cases, BCC can be life-threatening.
- Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from long-term sun exposure or indoor tanning beds is thought to be the main cause of skin cancers. BCC often develops on areas (like the head, ears or nose) that get a lot of sun. This cancer less commonly affects the arms, legs and genitals.
- Other factors, like fair (light) skin, can also increase your risk of developing BCC. Basal cell carcinoma usually affects middle-aged people through older adults, but it can occur in younger people. Our team can help you assess and manage your cancer risk with a skin cancer screening plan that works for your life.
- We treat many BCC cancers using in-office treatments or surgical procedures. Multiple cancer experts work together to treat complex BCC cases with enhanced options. This level of coordination helps us deliver highly customized care that’s most appropriate for the specific type of cancer you have.
How to talk to your doctor about basal cell carcinoma
Hearing you have basal cell carcinoma may make you feel uneasy about your health. We are here to listen to your concerns and walk you through the care process.
Our dermatologists and support team are known for their friendly, approachable demeanor. We take our time during appointments. We will explain your diagnosis and treatment options in detail.
Many people find it comforting to have a loved one participate in the care process, attending appointments with you or weighing in on treatment decisions. We welcome it.
You might want to ask your doctor about:
- Additional testing, if any, you may need to inform your diagnosis or treatment plan
- Cancer details, including the size and type of basal cell carcinoma and whether it has spread
- Treatment options, including any steps you should take after treatment to protect your skin
- Potential treatment side effects and how you can manage them
- Skin cancer screening, including skin safety tips and how often your doctor recommends getting skin cancer screening to help protect your long-term health
Doctors classify BCC by where it grows on the body and how cells look under a microscope. All types of BCC grow out of basal cells, one of the skin’s topmost layers.
There are many types of basal cell skin cancer. Subtypes that tend to grow and spread quickly include:
- Morpheaform (also called sclerosing or infiltrative) BCC
- Micronodular BCC
Our board-certified dermatologists have received in-depth training in how to care for common and rare forms of BCC. We expertly treat early and advanced forms of basal cell carcinoma