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, around two hundred new cases are recorded per one hundred thousand inhabitants per year.

Tumor metastasis (spread, metastasis) is observed very rarely (0.0028-0.55 %). The ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight is the most common trigger of the tumor. Basal cell carcinomas therefore grow predominantly on sun-exposed skin, especially on the face. The tumors grow slowly and can destroy the surrounding tissue. Basal cell carcinomas occur most frequently in people with light skin, light eyes, light hair, of northern European descent, with frequent sunburns, at an advanced age.

Patients who have been treated with immunosuppressive drugs are also affected more frequently. Basal cell carcinomas are detected by computer-assisted magnification and measurement (reflected light microscope, dermatoscope). The fine-layered examination of the removed tissue by the pathologist provides certainty as to whether a basal cell carcinoma is present. The treatment of first choice is complete surgical removal.

Treatment & Therapy

The tissue around the tumor should be examined in fine layers (Tübingen model). This is the only way to obtain the greatest possible certainty that the tumor has been completely removed. The wound should only be closed once the pathologist’s examination under the microscope has confirmed the complete removal of the tumor.

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 as well as light treatment (photodynamic therapy). With these treatment methods, it is not possible to check whether all tumor cells have been destroyed. Basal cell carcinomas therefore grow back more frequently after these non-surgical treatment methods.


Basal cell carcinoma, white skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma

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