Treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma
Standard surgical excision is the preferred method for removing most BCCs. The cure rate is very high if a sufficient amount of margin beyond the border of the BCC is removed. Sometimes a narrower margin is removed, especially if the BCC is on the face to preserve more tissue. Although cosmetically appealing, narrower margins often result in cancer recurrence.
Mohs Surgery is a procedure in which microscopic analysis is combined with traditional excision. It is a popular form of surgery as it minimizes the amount of healthy skin that is required to be removed beyond the borders of the BCC. In this method, a small amount of skin is removed, followed by analysis with the microscope. This method is repeated until all the BCC is removed.
Imiquimod and 5FU are chemotherapy agents and will be effective in treating some types of BCC. An advantage is that the treated area will not leave as many scars when compared to traditional methods of excision. The disadvantage is its lower cure rate, and the inflammation which can last for several weeks.
Cryosurgery is an old treatment method of removing skin tumours. It is an effective treatment, but generally, surgical excision is considered a more effective treatment. Margins are more difficult to control with this method, and recovery time will often take longer than with standard therapy.
EDC (Electrodessication and Curettage):
EDC is a surgical method of removing the cancer using a curette. Electricity is used to soften the skin, allowing the surgical knife to enter more smoothly.
The best treatment is often dependent on the type of BCC, its size, and the patient's age, health, and preference. Generally, the surgeon will recommend one of the modalities above.