What is a Basal Cell Carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is one of the most common types of skin cancer. It is characterised by slow growth and is typically localised, meaning it doesn’t tend to spread to other organs or metastasize. BCCs often develop in areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun, such as the face, scalp, neck, and arms.
The typical appearance of a basal cell carcinoma includes:
Pearly Pink Lump: BCCs often appear as raised, pearly or flesh-colored bumps on the skin.
Shiny Surface: The surface of the lesion can be shiny or translucent, which can sometimes give it a glassy or pearl-like appearance.
Central Bleeding Area: As you mentioned, they may have a central ulceration or bleeding area, which can make them resemble a donut with a depressed center.
How do you remove Basal Cell Carcinomas?
Treatment options for BCC include surgical excision, which involves removing the cancerous tissue along with a margin of healthy tissue to ensure complete removal. To reduce the risk of recurrence the excision should include a margin of 3mm.
In some cases, other treatments like cryotherapy (freezing the lesion), curettage and cautery, Mohs surgery (a specialized technique for removing skin cancer layer by layer), or topical creams may be considered depending on the size, location, and characteristics of the BCC.
At Oxona we will always select the best removal method in your particular case. For BCC’s in difficult locations such as near the mouth eyes or nose, where Mohs or skin flaps are needed, we will refer you onto a plastic surgeon or specialist dermatologist either NHS or privately as you wish.
How much does it cost?
All patients will require a pre-operative appointment priced at £110. During this appointment an Oxona doctor will provide an exact costing for the different removal options. Usually we advise an ellipse excision which costs on average £565. All our prices are transparent and can be found on our pricing page. We do send all suspected BCC samples to our histopathology lab. The cost of this is £115.
How can I prevent the development of Basal Cell Carcinomas
There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing basal cell carcinomas (BCC’s) and at Oxona Healthcare our doctors will always discuss prevention as well as treatment. Here are some effective strategies to prevent BCCs:
- General Sun Protection: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. If you have extremely fair skin you can use factor 100, such as Eucerin Actinic Control Fluid. Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin, and reapply every two hours when outdoors. Don’t forget to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses for added protection.
- Don’t risk getting sunburnt. Be careful at the beginning of the summer not to get caught out with sunburn. Episodes of burning are more harmful than a tan in triggering malignant changes.
- Seek Shade: When the sun is at its strongest, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., try to stay in the shade. This reduces your skin’s direct exposure to UV radiation.
- Cover Up: Wearing long-sleeved clothing and pants can shield your skin from the sun’s harmful effects. Opt forf abrics with specific UV protection.
- Avoid Sun Beds: Tanning beds expose your skin to concentrated UV radiation, increasing your risk of skin cancer, including BCCs. It’s best to avoid them entirely.
- Regular Skin Checks: Schedule routine skin examinations with a dermatologist to detect any suspicious moles or growths early. Early detection is crucial in preventing BCCs from advancing to more advanced stages.
- Self-Exams: Perform self-exams at home to monitor your skin for changes. If you notice any new, changing, or abnormal spots, consult a dermatologist promptly.
- Don’t Smoke: Smoking has been linked to an increased risk of BCCs and other skin cancers.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants can support your skin’s health and reduce the risk of skin cancer.
By adopting these practices and being proactive in your skin health, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing Basal Cell Carcinomas. For personalized guidance and regular skin check-ups, contact Oxona Healthcare today. Your skin’s well-being is our top priority.
Do I need to have a pre-op consultation?
Yes, all patients require a pre-op consultation prior to any surgical treatment. During this appointment, you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions, and the doctor will discuss the procedure and outcomes, while also providing an exact costing. The doctor may provide different options for surgical treatments, and these tend to have different outcomes. You are advised to take your time to consider the available options and best outcomes for you.
Can I claim for my appointment on insurance?
You need to speak to your insurer prior to your appointment. Some insurers will reimburse you for the appointment, but you will need to present any documentation at the time of your appointment for the doctor to sign. Please note that all our doctors are registered with the GMC on the GP register not the consultant register. Please ensure you make this clear to your insurers at the outset.
How it works
From the moment you book your appointment to post-treatment care, we’re here to support you.
- Booking your appointment
With Oxona, there’s no need for a referral and you can book your appointment online, over the phone or by email. All appointments require a pre-paid deposit due at the time of booking.
Our specialists will give you the time you need to discuss your problem, making sure you are truly heard. Your questions will be answered with understanding and impartial advice, so you feel ready to make an informed decision.
- Treatment plan
Our treatment plans are based on you as an individual, rather than off the shelf. Taking into account your symptoms, medical history and any anxieties, we’ll explore all available options and respect your decisions.
Your care doesn’t end after your treatment. Our team are on hand to offer free post-operative support, and to answer any questions about your treatment plan.