Basalioma (basal cell carcinoma; BCC) is the most common of three types of skin cancer (the other two are squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma). Because of the changes in the cells of the skin that are being divided, a malignant tumor develops which then turns into ulcer. It appears that long-term exposure to strong sun leads to changes in cells, though it may take many years before basalioma develops. Basalioma growth is very slow and, with spreading, it destroys tissue. Unlike many other malignant lumps, it does not spread (metastasize) into other parts of the body.
At first, a small nodule appears on the skin, sometimes in a shape of a pearl. It usually appears on the face, especially near the eye or nose. This nodule grows slowly and can turn into ulcer with raised edges and a bleary, damp center that can bleed. Crustings are creating on it and fall off, but it does not heal.
In some cases, ulcer appears without a visible lump, and sometimes the basalioma does not look like an ulcer; instead, it looks like a red stain on the skin that exfoliates and slowly spreads.
Basalioma occurs in people with pale skin, in most cases in middle aged or elderly people, if they have been exposed to strong sunlight for a long time. It is rare in people with dark skin since additional skin melon (skin pigment) in the surface cells of their skin protects deeper cells in the skin from sunlight.
Since it develops very slowly and does not metastasize, basalioma causes problems only if we do not pay attention to it for many years. A large, untreated basalioma will continually grow, and may destroy part of the adjacent organ, such as the eye or ear. Basalioma is, in extremely rare cases, the cause of death. This only occurs if a large, untreated tumor ”pressed” some of the deeper vital structures, such as the artery.
What to do?
If you suspect that you have basalioma, contact a doctor who will probably set a diagnose after visual examination. There are several ways to remove BBC. It can be cut, frozen by cryopreservation, destroyed by radiotherapy, diluted with a sharp spoon-like instrument, or treated with a special cream. All these methods are very successful and leave barely visible mark on the place where the basalioma was.
After treatment, your doctor will probably advise you to check on regularly because, in some cases, the BBC can recur, usually within two years. If this happens, the treatment simply repeats.