Medical Topic Research Blog

Topic: Basal Cell Carcinoma by Grace Hill

Definitions and Analyses

A. Word analyses for carcinoma

carcin (R) = cancer

-oma (S) = tumor

meaning: Malignant tumor arising in epithelial tissue

B. Word analyses for metatasis

meta- (P) = beyond control

-stasis (S) = control

meaning: Spreading Process of cancer from a primary site to a secondary site.

C. Word analyses for malignant

malign (R) = bad kind

-ant (S) = forming

meaning: Pertaining to a bad wandering

D. Word analyses for neoplasm

neo- (P) = new

-plasm (S) = a thing, formed

meaning: New tissue formed

E. Word analyses for epidermis

epi- (P) = upon, over, above

derm (R) = skin

-is (S) = pertaining to

meaning: pertaining to the outer layer of skin


Skin cancers are some of the most common cancers in people of all ages. With basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma being the most prevalent. Basal cell carcinoma is defined as a slow growing, locally incisive, malignant, epidermal skin neoplasm that mainly affects people with lighter skin (Teller 1999). That being said, there are a few other risk factors to be aware of. People who have light skin and the tendency to burn easily are more susceptible to developing basal cell carcinoma. Other risk factors include family history, age, sun exposure, gender, radiation exposure. These can all heighten your risk of developing basal cell carcinoma at some point during your lifetime. Luckily, basal cell carcinoma has very high percentage chance of successful treatment, and very rarely does the cancer metastasis beyond the point of development. The metastatic rate ranges from 0.0028% to 0.55% (Wong, Strange 2003). Basal cell carcinoma usually shows up as a sore or bump that does not go away or heal. It can also appear as a brown scaly patch over the skin. To determine if the lesion is cancer the physician will most likely perform a biopsy and test the skin.

There are many treatment options available to get rid of basal cell carcinoma. Let us first talk about how and why basal cell carcinoma occurs. Basal cell carcinoma occurs when basal cells which produce new skin cells develop a mutation and start dying off. Which then leads to the development of a possibly malignant neoplasm. For treatment most cases have the option of surgical or non-surgical course of treatment. Surgical techniques include curettage and cautery (scraping away the tumor and stopping bleeding with cautery), cryosurgery (with liquid nitrogen), excision, and Mohs' micrographic surgery (Wong, Strange 2003). Mohs' micrographic surgery is a specialized technique that offers high cure rates for basal cell carcinoma with maximal preservation of normal tissues (Wong, Strange 2003). Some non surgical options include radiotherapy, topical immunotherapy with imiquimod or photodynamic therapy (Dissemond, Grabbe 2006).

Big image
Now we must look at the methods of prevention for basal cell carcinoma. Some of which include less sun exposure or always using sunscreen. Extremely important is educating people about basal cell carcinoma so they can understand the risks and symptoms and seek early treatment. In my family my mother, grandmother and aunt have all been affected by basal cell carcinoma. All cases were treated successfully through surgical excision. My mother personally feels that she would have lowered her risk of developing basal cell carcinoma by wearing more sunscreen when she was younger. She said that applying spf before going in the sun was something that was rarely done while growing up. Also my family has light hair, skin and light colored eyes which are risk factors. My mom now sees the dermatologist every six months for skin checks and is diligent with sunscreen.

Grace Hill

Grace Hill is currently taking classes through the University of Northwestern St.Paul.

Works Cited

Bath-Hextall, Fiona J, Leonardi-Bee, Jo, Somchand, Neal, Webster, Angela C, Dellit, Jim, Perkins, William. Interventions for preventing non-melanoma skin cancers in high- risk groups. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2007. Web. Mar. 16, 2016.

Dissemond J., Grabbe S. Non-surgical therapy of basal cell carcinoma of the head-neck region. 2006. Web. Mar. 16, 2016.

Mayo Clinic Staff. "Basal Cell Carcinoma." - Mayo Clinic. N.p., 07 Sept. 2013. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.

Wong, C S M; Strange, R C; Lear, J T. Basal cell carcinoma. British Medical Journal, International edition. Oct 4, 2003. Web. Mar. 16, 2016.