It is quite natural to spend long hours basking in the pleasant warmth of the sun especially in summer but sadly that tan you work so hard to get can be harmful to your health. A nice summer tan is a sign of prosperity, great health, and good looks but it’s not for everybody. Did you know that a skin tan is actually a sign of damage caused by the sun to your skin cells? For many people, skin cell damage can potentially lead to a skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma.
Skin cancer is quite prevalent in Australia more than many other parts of the world. Australian sunlight has the most harmful ultraviolet rays than other places in the world. This is mainly due to the fact that there is a huge hole in the ozone layer over the Antarctic region that covers most parts of Australia. Over 750,000 Australians seek for non-melanoma skin cancer treatments such as basal cell carcinoma every year. It is even estimated that two-thirds of Australians will fall victim to skin cancer conditions by the age of 70 years.
So What’s Basal Cell Carcinoma and How Does it Develop?
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), also called basal cell cancer, is one of the most prevalent types of skin cancer. It starts as a skin condition characterised by a raised often painless area on the skin with a shiny surface or as a skin region with laceration. The cancer develops slowly leaving tissue damage around the affected area. It hardly spreads to distant parts of the body or cause death but can do a lot of damage to exposed areas on your skin.
BCC develops in areas of your skin that are exposed to a lot of sun. It is a less risky type of cancer and can be cured if addressed at an early stage. However, if left to progress, the cancer can move into other internal parts of your body such as bones and other tissues under the affected part of your skin.
Basal cell carcinoma presents itself as tumours that begin as small shiny bumps on the skin mostly on your nose and other exposed areas of your face. It can also occur on other sections of your trunk, arms, and legs. Over 80% of basal cell carcinoma develops on the head, face, neck, arms, legs, and the trunk. The nose and the area around your eyelids are the most affected areas due to their constant exposure to the sun’s UV rays. People with fair skin are at a greater risk of developing this type of skin cancer.
The most common form of BCC is known as nodular and appears as a shiny bump on the face, neck, scalp and ears. It bleeds easily and can even ulcerate and crust over creating an illusion of healing although it may still be actively developing under the skin. The other form of BCC is known as superficial basal cell carcinoma and often occurs on the trunk mostly on your back as red, scaly, and itchy spots. The spots may also appear as flecks with dark pigmentation. Another form of basal cell carcinoma, known as morpheaform, has a white or yellow scar-like appearance with less defined borders.
All forms of basal cell carcinoma start off as a simple harmless skin blemish that gradually ulcerates if not addressed early. If you have a seemingly innocent skin blemish that won’t go away, heal, or bleeds easily, you should consult a dermatologist to check if it is a case of basal cell carcinoma.
What Causes Basal Cell Carcinoma?
The most common risk factors for BCC are intense long-term exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds, radiation therapy, and having a lighter skin. The condition can also result from exposure to ultraviolet light during one’s childhood. Ultraviolet radiation from tanning beds can cause a wide range of harm to your skin including the development of basal cell carcinoma. When the UV rays from the sun or tanning beds hit your skin over a long time, they damage your skin’s DNA, which holds the code that regulates the growth of cells in your body. Continuous damage to DNA can cause skin cancer after several years.
Other rare but potential causes of BCC include:
- Intense exposure to any form of radiation
- Exposure to arsenic
- Skin and tissue complications that may arise from scars, tattoos, burns, infections, and vaccinations
- Chronic skin conditions that cause inflammations.
It is also worth pointing out that once you have been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma for the first time there is a strong likelihood of the cancer’s reoccurrence if not properly treated.
Animation Video of growth and spread of basal cell carcinoma:
What are the Symptoms of BCC?
People with BCC often have a shiny skin nodule on any part of their skin that has continually been exposed to sunlight or tanning bed UV rays. Superficial BCC appears as a red patch that can be confused with skin eczema. It is often a blue, brown, or black lesion with a raised border.
Superficial BCC presents itself as a reddish brown patch while morpheaform or infiltrative BCC appears as a scar tissue or skin thickening. Diagnosis of infiltrative BCC under the skin may be hard to diagnose without skin or tactile sensation biopsy procedures. The other forms of BCC can also be easily confused with and treated as acne or similar skin inflammation conditions.
People at Risk of Developing Basal Cell Carcinoma
Typical of most cancerous conditions, BCC grows slowly and often becomes clearly evident in people aged 55 years and above. Although the condition appears more among men, there has been an increase of reports of young women with BCC in recent times. According to documented medical reports, BCC is more prevalent among individuals with fair skin, green, blue or yellow eyes, and those with red or blond hair. Other risk factors include the following:
- A family history of the condition
- A skin type that burns or freckles easily
- Inherited syndromes that make you susceptible to skin cancer such as problems with the endocrine glands and the nervous system.
Other non-genetic risk factors include:
- Advanced age. The risk factor increases as one grows older
- Intense long-term exposure to the sun
- Having suffered severe sunburn during childhood
- Living in sunny locations or high altitude places
- Exposure to extreme radiation therapy
- Arsenic exposure
- As a side effect of some immunosuppressing drugs, mostly after undergoing transplant surgery.
- Prolonged use of some steroid drugs such as glucocorticoids
Watch this video on Basal Cell Carcinoma Symptoms:
How Prevalent is Basal Cell Carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma is the most prevalent form of skin cancer. It is increasingly becoming a major health concern for all health care services throughout the world. According to a publication in JAMA Dermatol Journaltitled “Incidence Estimate of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer,” close to 4 million people in the USA alone are diagnosed with BCC or similar types of skin cancer every year. The report goes on to say that over 3.3 million patients in the US were treated for non-melanoma skin cancer in 2012.
In another JAMA Dermatol Journalpublication titled “Skin Cancer in Skin of Colour”, Gloster H.M and Neal K provide the findings of a study that showed BCC is most prevalent among Caucasian, Hispanic, and Chinese/Japanese Asian races. The study shows that BCC is most common with people who have fair skin.
Studies conducted globally show that Australia has the highest incidence of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers (NMSC) including BCC and Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) in the entire world. The incidence of the condition varied from one state to another in Australia with the highest being in Queensland. In 2002, NMSC incidence in Australia stood at 2% of the entire population. It is not a surprise why indoor tanning is altogether banned in Australia while other countries including the UK, Brazil, France, Belgium, Norway, Italy, Germany, Spain, Iceland, and Portugal have banned indoor tanning for anyone below the age of 18 years.
Diagnosis of BCC
Diagnosis of BCC involves examination of changes or growths on your skin by a dermatologist or skin specialist. The dermatologist will also conduct a medical history examination to determine the most probable cause for the condition.
The doctor will examine the affected area of your skin as well as the rest of your body to check for signs of lesions yet to appear. You may also be required to undergo a skin biopsy in which the doctor takes a sample of your skin for further laboratory tests. The sample will prove if you have skin cancer and if so what type of cancer its. Proper diagnosis is necessary before treatment.
Video on Diagnosis and Treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma:
Treatment Options for Basal Cell Carcinoma
There are several treatment options for basal cell carcinoma. The type of treatment you opt to undergo depends on several factors such as the level or size of your condition, location, and personal preference. Choice of treatment may also depend on whether this is the first time with BCC or a recurring experience with the condition.
Doctors usually prescribe prescription medication or surgery. The solutions provided by some dermatologists may also involve expensive and often demanding procedures such as chemotherapy, plastic surgery, or even more radiation. Others recommend surgical removal of the lesion and allowing the wound to heal by itself, sutured with stitches, or clinically covered with a patch of skin from another healthy part of your body. Common treatment procedures include:
Electrodesiccation and Curettage also Known as ED&C
This form of treatment is often used to treat small superficial BCC by removing the affected skin area using a blade or scrapping instrument such as a curette. The base of the affected skin is then seared using an electric needle to kill the cancer cells and control bleeding. Other surgeons use liquid nitrogen to freeze the base of the cancer after scrapping the skin off with a curette. ED&C treatment is not the most comfortable and will leave you with an unsightly crusty scab that may take up to six weeks to heal. That’s six weeks of discomfort and wound treatment. Most people find this form of treatment not only uncomfortable but expensive too.
Surgical Removal of the Cancerous Lesion
Surgical excision is similar to ED&C because it involves cutting out the cancerous lesion as well as the surrounding healthy skin. The procedure is normally used to cut out larger lesions. However, it is often uncomfortable, more expensive, and involves a long healing time.
Surgical removal of BCC video:
This is another surgical procedure that involves elimination of cancerous cells using liquid nitrogen to freeze them out. It is used on thin superficial cancers. The process, however, requires a long freezing time to eliminate the cells and must be done with utmost care or may damage nerves on the affected site.
Radiation and Chemotherapies
Most surgical basal cell carcinoma treatment procedures are often followed by radiation or chemotherapies. While this is done to ensure complete removal of cancerous cells from your skin, chemotherapy is extremely uncomfortable and radiotherapy exposes you to further risk of BCC. Both procedures are also a bit costly too.
So what is the best and most effective treatment for basal cell carcinoma given the downsides of surgery and other procedures? The best treatment, which is comfortable to the patient and completely natural, is the use of Curaderm BEC5.
What is Curaderm BEC5?
BEC5 Curaderm, also known as BEC5 cream, is an extremely easy to use 100% natural topical cream. It has been scientifically proven to treat non-melanoma cancers including BCC with almost 80% success rate. It is also effective in removing sun spots and age spots as well.
Curaderm BEC5 is a convenient, effective, and non-invasive solution for treatment of BCC on all parts of your body or skin. It can also be used to treat other skin conditions besides BCC including Squamous cell carcinomas or SCC, benign tumours such as age and sun spots, and skin conditions such as Keratoacanthomas and Keratoses.
The all-natural cream treats both malignant and premalignant lesions caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays using low concentrations of a mixture or BEC of glycosides and solasodine. The cream formulation in BEC5 Curaderm contains low BEC concentration of just 0.005%. In a study conducted to determine the efficacy of BEC Curaderm, 56 patients with Keratoses, 29 with SCC, and 39 with BCC were treated using the BEC5 cream while another group was given a placebo. Skin cancer and other conditions in patients treated with BEC5 Curaderm regressed after treatment while the placebo had no effect on the patients’ cancer cells. The study also showed that BEC5 Curaderm did not have any adverse effect on the liver hematopoietic system or kidneys of the patients. Curaderm-BEC5 actually destroys cancerous BCC cells without affecting your body’s healthy cells.
More than 100,000 patients worldwide have used this cream to eliminate BCC without the condition ever returning again. In summary, here are the key benefits you get from Curaderm-BEC5:
- It treats all forms of basal cell carcinoma including nodular, superficial, and morpheaform BCCs.
- It is effective in the treatment of Squamous Cell Carcinoma or SCC
- It can be used to treat both Keratoses and Keratoacanthomas conditions
- It is an effective treatment for sunspots and age spots
- It enables new growth of skin to replace dead cancer cells with extremely minimal or zero scarring
- It eliminates cancerous cells on your skin and ensures that they never appear again.
- It only targets cancerous cells without affecting healthy cells
- It is a 100% natural formula without long-term side effects
- It is easy to use.
Compared to surgery, freezing, radiation, and other complicated treatment procedures for BCC, Curaderm-BEC5 is your best option. It is a completely safe and effective solution for anyone looking for basal cells carcinoma treatment.
BCC is one of the most common types of skin cancer in the world. It is even more prevalent in Australia than anywhere else worldwide but the good news is that it can be prevented and cured.
You can reduce or eliminate the risk of getting BCC by avoiding intense long-term exposure to UV light from the sun or tan beds. Keep off tanning beds, whether at home or when you are on holiday in a country that allows unregulated use of tanning beds. More importantly, avoid exposing yourself to direct sunlight whenever possible, especially during hot summer months.
You can also apply sunscreen when you plan to spend some time outdoors. Make sure the sunscreen you apply has SPF rating of 15 and above. Wearing lightweight clothing and hats help to protect you from intense exposure to UV rays from the sun. Do not use sunscreen on infants and children under six months. They should be kept out of the sun at all times.
There are several treatment procedures for BCC. Most treatment options involve surgery which not only takes longer to heal but is also costly. The best alternative is the use of Curaderm BEC5 topical cream. This 100% natural cream contains glycoalkaloids and antineoplastic which are safe and effective in treating non-melanoma skin cancers. Curaderm BEC5 eliminates skin cancer cells without adversely affecting normal skin cells.
Rogers HW, Weinstock MA, Feldman SR, Coldiron BM. Incidence Estimate Of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer (Keratinocyte Carcinomas) In The US Population, 2012. JAMA, Dermatol 2015; 151(10):1081-1086.
Gloster HM, Neal K. Skin Cancer In Skin Of Color. JAMA, Dermatol 2006; 55:741-60.