What Is Basal Cell Cancer?

Basal cell skin cancer is the most common type of cancer worldwide, with about 3 million cases in the U.S. each year. Utah has the highest rate in the nation of this skin cancer, likely because of our high elevation, relative fair skin compared to most other states, and our outdoor lifestyle. Basal cell carcinoma is most common in those over 50, with blond or red hair, light colored eyes, and fair skin, but can happen in anyone. More cases are diagnosed each year in young people, particularly those who have had a lot of sun exposure. If you have a skin cancer, Bahr Dermatology in Bountiful is the best place to get your care.


What Does Basal Cell Cancer Look Like?

Basal Cell Carcinoma will usually look like a pink or “pearly” bump on the skin, a sore that doesn’t heal, or a spot that bleeds easily. It is most commonly found on the head and neck, arms, or upper chest or back. If not caught early, this cancer can grow aggressively and can invade muscle, bone, and cartilage. It has more mutations in it than any other cancer and because of this, is usually kept in check by the immune system and rarely spreads to other parts of the body. However, when basal cell cancer does spread, it can be quite fatal, with an average survival of only 8 months. Because of that and the potential for disfigurement from invasion of local tissues, it is important to find this type of skin cancer and get it treated early.




What Types Of Treatments Are There For Basal Cell Cancer?

Dr. Bahr does all treatments locally in his Bountiful office. For patients with skin cancer in Utah, this allows your treatment to be done more quickly than any other dermatology office. Treatment is most often done by surgically removing the tumor with a small margin of normal skin. If the tumor is found on the head and neck, hands, feet, or genitals, there is a higher risk of this tumor spreading to other locations in the body, Mohs micrographic surgery is usually done because it has a higher cure rate, when compared to other types of treatments.

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If your skin cancer has a low risk of spreading, there are other potential treatments Dr. Bahr may suggest including electrodessication and curettage ( Sometimes referred to as scraping and burning ), topical chemotherapy or topical immunotherapy ( Treating the cancer with creams) and cryotherapy (which involves freezing the cancer ). If you live in Davis county, Morgan county, or Salt Lake county, in Utah your best option for treatment is with Dr. Brooks Bahr at Bahr Dermatology in Bountiful.

What If Your Basal Cell Cancer Has Already Spread?

This happens so rarely that most dermatologists have never seen a patient whose basal cell skin cancer has spread. If your skin cancer has already spread, other treatments such as radiation therapy, or an oral medication that targets the mutations in this tumor may also be used.

Bahr Dermatology has highly trained experts in all types of treatment for basal cell, and will give you the highest quality treatment for the best possible outcome depending on the location and type of your skin cancer. If you have a spot that is not healing, make an appointment today with Dr. Bahr at Bahr Dermatology in Bountiful to get a skin check and make sure it is not skin cancer. Rest assured that if you do have one, you will get the best local care that’s possible right here in Utah, at Bahr Dermatology.

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