Skin cancer is a common problem among people all across the United States. In fact, every year, there are over 3.5 million cases of skin cancer that are not melanoma diagnosed in the United States and those cases affect more than 2 million people annually. The numbers do not lie, skin cancer is a major problem for millions of people here in this country, and these numbers continue to increase. Basal cell carcinoma is one of the most common forms of skin cancer. If you are diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, you may find yourself wondering what the treatment options are for you. Get to know some of the standard and new treatment options for basal cell carcinoma so that you are ready to tackle your cancer head-on.
Many times, basal cell carcinomas are localized forms of cancer that grow slowly. Spots on the face or nose are common forms of basal cell carcinomas, for example. As such, surgery is often one of the primary treatment options for this form of skin cancer.
Surgery can occur in many different forms for this type of cancer. Sometimes, the cancerous cells are scraped away and then the remaining deeper part of the tumor are burned away. This is known as curettage and electrodesiccation.
What most people recognize as surgery is actually known in medical communities as excision, and is another option for treating basal cell carcinoma. In this form of surgery, the doctor uses a scalpel to cut out the cancerous cells. Other surgical options may include microsurgery and cryosurgery among others.
Radiation is a commonly used cancer treatment for a variety of different types of cancer including basal cell carcinoma. This treatment uses high-intensity energy x-rays to target and kill cancer cells while attempting to spare healthy cells from extensive damage.
Radiation therapy occurs over several different sessions and the treatment can take weeks or months to complete. Of course, because radioactive energy is going into your body, you will experience some side effects. The most common of these are nausea and fatigue although more severe options are possible as well.
New Oral Medications
Innovations in cancer treatment are a major focus in the medical community. Recently, cancer researchers have made strides in using oral medications to treat basal cell carcinoma.
Specifically, people who have advanced basal cell carcinoma and are not good candidates for surgical treatment or for radiation or those who have recurring basal cell carcinoma tumors can benefit from such a treatment. The new treatment that the FDA approved is a daily pill.
The oral medication works to block what is known as the Hedgehog pathway within the body. This pathway contributes to the growth of the basal cell tumors. By blocking the pathway, the drug may lead to tumor shrinkage or even the complete disappearance of tumors.
Now that you know some of the different treatments for basal cell carcinoma, you can get to work overcoming your skin cancer. So, get to your oncologist and get more information.
As an elderly care worker, I have witnessed the deaths of many individuals. I have seen family members become angry, sad, and completely silent at the end. I have also seen individuals refuse to see family members out of denial. People deal with death in different ways, and the strong emotions are often unfamiliar and scary. If you have a parent or grandparent who is elderly, then I want to share with you what I know about end of life care and dying process. We are a society that does not talk about death, and this can cause great pain when a family member dies. Learn about the process and find out how to deal with your own emotions and how to love your family members at the end. If there is only a small amount of time left, then I want you to cherish the final moments.