Will I Need Chemotherapy for Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma, a type of nonmelanoma skin cancer, is very common and affects people of various age groups. If you have been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, you probably have questions about your next steps and what treatments can be used to address this type of cancer.

Every patient is different and requires an individualized treatment plan. With this said, chemotherapy is rarely used to eradicate basal cell carcinoma. This systemic treatment involves administering medicine into the bloodstream to attack cancer cells throughout the body. Because basal cell carcinoma usually affects an isolated area and seldom reaches an advanced stage, a systematic approach to treatment is typically not necessary.

Common Treatment Options for Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma usually manifests as a sore or growth on the skin. Surgery to remove the cancer and a small portion of the surrounding tissue is often sufficient to successfully treat basal cell carcinoma. The most commonly recommended surgical approaches for treating skin cancer include traditional excision, Mohs micrographic surgery and curettage and electrodessication.

Less commonly, targeted radiation therapy or special ointments may be used instead of or in addition to skin cancer surgery. For example, radiation therapy may be appropriate for patients whose cancer has developed on an area of the body that is difficult to operate on, such as the ears or eyelids.

Moffitt Cancer Center’s Cutaneous Oncology Program features a multispecialty team that focuses exclusively on diagnosing and treating skin cancer. By merging individualized treatment with the latest therapies and procedures, Moffitt’s experts help our patients achieve the best possible outcomes and quality of life. Contact us at 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online to learn more.