Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment
Basal cell carcinoma treatment often focuses on the surgical resection (removal) of a cancerous growth. If a cancer cannot be resected or an initial resection is unsuccessful, different treatments may be recommended.
Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment Options
The most common surgery for basal cell carcinoma is a traditional excision, in which a surgeon will remove the tumor with a small knife. Other surgical options include:
- Mohs microscopic surgery – Capable of producing extremely high success rates, this surgery involves the sequential removal of multiple levels of skin. After each layer is removed, a surgeon assesses the tissue under a microscope to determine if all of the cancerous cells have been resected. Mohs surgery is offered in conjunction with the USF Department of Dermatology.
- A curettage and electrodessication – Simple and widely used, this surgery requires a surgeon to scrape away a cancerous growth with a sharp curette, then cauterize nearby tissue with an electrosurgical device.
When surgery isn’t an ideal option (such as when the cancer is located on the eyelids or ears), radiation therapy may be recommended. Radiation therapy can also be used in addition to surgery, especially if it’s possible that all traces of cancer haven’t been fully removed.
From time to time, basal cell carcinoma patients may require a treatment other than surgery or radiation therapy. When this is the case, clinical trials may be a consideration. Through clinical trials, patients are able to access novel therapies, such as immunotherapy, intralesional therapy, adoptive cell therapy and molecular targeted therapy, while remaining under the close supervision of their skin cancer treatment team.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we provide a complete range of basal cell carcinoma treatments. To provide each patient with an individualized plan, our oncologists collaborate in a multispecialty tumor board to make evidence-based recommendations for the best possible options.