Skin cancer surgeon John B. Harris, MD, diagnoses basal cell carcinoma with a skin cancer biopsy and BCC surgery in Jacksonville, FL
We diagnose basal cell carcinoma with a skin cancer biopsy then remove the basal cell cancer with MOFS surgery (Multiple Oriented Frozen Section) surgery, or if necessary, the use of Mohs pathology. We’re happy to discuss this with you during the decision-making phase of your treatment.
What is basal cell carcinoma?
A basal cell carcinoma:
- Is the most common type of skin cancer
- Represents almost 75% of the 1M new skin cancers diagnosed in the U.S. annually
- Tends to grow very slowly and very rarely spreads to other parts of the body
- Tends to grow locally and can cause significant tissue damage and destruction through its direct extension if not completely surgically removed
Risk factors include:
- Chronic sun exposure
- Indoor tanning
- Fair complexion
- Previous exposure to radiation treatment
The most common appearance of basal cell carcinoma is:
- A non-pigmented nodule with a central depression area and surrounding rolled up border
- A possible scaling lesion with ulceration and bleeding
Most basal cell cancers may be removed at the FFSCC with standard surgical excision with permanent pathology to ensure complete removal. For large basal cell cancers and those occurring on the face, your FFSCC surgeon may recommend MOFS surgery (Multiple Oriented Frozen Section surgery), or if necessary, Mohs pathology to ensure complete removal.
How is basal cell carcinoma diagnosed?
To diagnose basal cell carcinoma, the surest way is to perform a punch biopsy of the suspicious lesion for histopathological interpretation. The pathologist or dermatopathologist will evaluate your biopsy under the microscope to determine the results. Dr. Harris prefers a punch biopsy diagnosis versus a shave biopsy because the latter may leave large scars, which would be unnecessary if the biopsy is negative for basal cell cancer. Shaved biopsies also leave large areas of redness while healing, making the delineation of the area for skin cancer removal more difficult and may result in longer incisions.
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