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Skin Cancer

Basal Cell Carcinoma

What Causes Skin Cancer?
Basal cell cancers enlarge steadily, but they almost never spread to distant parts of the body and almost never invade internal tissue if treated early.

Microscopic examination is necessary to determine whether a growth is cancerous. The tissue is examined by an expertly trained pathologist in our medical laboratory.

Basal cell skin cancers are most common on the face and are practically never found in areas such as the buttocks, which are protected from the sun by clothing. Those with fair skin are more prone to skin cancer than individuals with darker complexions, since skin pigment protects the skin to a greater degree.

Treatment: Basal cell cancers are always best treated early, when they are small, since it's simpler to remove a small growth than a large one. Surgical removal of basal cell cancers are almost always curative. Very rarely (about 4%) a cancer may grow back. In order to detect this rare event, the treated area should be checked periodically for three years

Prevention: The skin-damaged effects of sunlight build up over time and are permanent. Ordinary sun exposure and sunbathing produce gradual skin damage even if sunburns are avoided. As many as ten, twenty or more years can pass between the time of initial sun exposure and the time the skin shows signs of sun damage. There is no way of undoing sun damage. You can prevent further skin injury by using the sun-protective measures such as SPF 30+ sunscreens, broad-brim hats, etc. Be reasonable about sun protection.

With the passage of time, skin cancer patients are likely to develop additional skin cancers. Any new growths, or sores that don't heal or keep coming back should be examined.

Other Skin Cancers:
Squamous cell skin cancer may rarely spread from the skin to the lymph nodes and other parts of the body. Fortunately, it is usually cured if picked up early and treated therefore it is pertinent to pay attention to any spots you are concerned about.

Malignant melanoma (mole cancer) is becoming more common and is a cancer arising from the pigment cells. Any dark spot with Asymmetrical margins, irregular Borders and odd Colours, or has a Diameter greater than 6 mm should be reviewed. Some people have a predisposition to developing mole cancer from atypical (dysplastic) moles and removal of these moles is the best form of prevention.


Removal of benign cysts and tumors
Our skin is the largest organ of the body and subjected to many internal and external abuses which causes the skin to develop a variety of innocent lumps and bumps over time. Some of those may be cysts and tumors. The variety of lumps and bumps are many and varied and are often tagged with long names which are impossible to pronounce. Suffice to say that you do not have to live with white, brown, or red appendages that may protrude from your skin. Now that target specific lasers are being used, benign cysts and tumors are usually easy to remove.

If they are lumpy they may be cut out or vaporized with a laser. Red lesions are often removed with vascular removal lasers and pigmented (brown) lesions are treated with bleaching agents or removed with pigment removal lasers.


Basal cell cancers are the result of sun damage to the skin as sunlight ages the skin cells which cause their growth to be disturbed. A basal cell cancer begins as a small spot that grows slowly and unrelenting until treated.