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Basal Cell Carcinoma – Treatment & Therapy

Basal cell carcinoma is a malignant proliferation of cells in the lowest layer of the epidermis. Basal cell carcinoma is one of the most common malignant tumors in humans in Central Europe. In Germany, approximately two hundred new cases are recorded per one hundred thousand inhabitants per year.

Tumor metastasis is observed very rarely (0.0028-0.55%). Ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight is the most common trigger of the tumor. Basaliomas therefore grow predominantly on sun-exposed skin, especially on the face. The tumors grow slowly and can destroy the surrounding tissue. Basal cell carcinoma most often develops in people with fair skin, light eyes, light hair, Northern European descent, with frequent sunburns, advanced age.

Patients treated with immunosuppressive drugs are also more likely to be affected. Basal cell carcinomas are detected by computer-assisted magnification and measurement (reflected light microscope, dermatoscope). Fine-layer examination of the removed tissue by the pathologist brings certainty as to whether basal cell carcinoma is present. The first-line treatment is complete surgical removal.

Treatment & Therapy

The tissue around the tumor should be examined in fine layers (Tübingen model). Only in this way can the greatest possible certainty be gained that the tumor has been completely removed. Only when the examination under the microscope by the pathologist confirms the residual tumor removal, the wound should be closed.

Surgical treatment of basal cell carcinoma therefore involves at least two operations. Alternative treatment methods include radiation, icing, laser treatment or local chemotherapy with ointments (Imiquimod, 5-fluorouracil) and light treatment (photodynamic therapy). With these treatment methods, it is not possible to verify that all tumor cells have been destroyed. Basal cell carcinomas therefore grow back more frequently after these non-surgical treatment methods.

Synonyms:

Basalioma, white skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma

Important technical terms Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

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