Basal Cell Skin Cancer and What You Should Know about It

Basal cell carcinomas are the most common cancer, skin or otherwise. Because they are so universal, doctors have a wide range of information and can successfully treat them most of the time. Cancerous lesions can also be removed with minimal disfigurement.

Although there are ways to watch out for BCCs, it often takes a trained eye to distinguish between a real carcinoma and false flags like eczema or psoriasis. Since basal skin cancer presents as subtly as irritation or redness, with or without discomfort, self-diagnosis can be difficult. Our basal cell skin cancer doctor in Encino treats many cases that began as easily as a persistent or non-healing sore, which is one of the danger signs for carcinoma.


You should perform regular head-to-toe skin exams, so you always know when differences appear. Sometimes bumps develop that look like moles but are carcinomas in their earliest stages. Be especially aware of any pink growths with elevated, rolled borders. If you spot something that looks wrong, contact your Encino skin doctors right away.


The simplest truth about basal cell skin cancer is that it is induced by the sun. Take precautions anytime you need to be in the sun, for any time at all.

Squamous Skin Cancer and What You Should Know about It

Squamous skin cancer is a cancer that occurs in the top level of skin. It is brought on typically by years of sun exposure. Farmers and athletes would be high-risk groups. Obviously, areas of the skin most exposed to the sun are the danger zones, such as the face, neck, extremities, and tips of ears. Squamous skin cancer may start with something as simple as viral warts, which arise from human papillomavirus, or actinic cheilitis, also known as farmer’s lip.

Per the American Cancer Society, here are some signs to watch out for:

• Rough or scaly red patches that may or may not itch
• Pale or yellow areas that resemble scars
• Pink or red bumps that may include blue or black areas
• Persistent, non-healing sores
• Wart-like growths

Our squamous cell skin cancer doctor in Encino may want to take a biopsy if you come in with any of these symptoms. A biopsy is just a skin sample taken for further study. If there are cancer cells in the sample, the doctor will grade them in terms of likelihood of metastasis, or spreading, and their rate of difference when compared to healthy cells. Our dermatologists in Encino would then devise a treatment plan.

How is Skin Cancer Treated?

Skin cancer is exceptionally common and if left untreated can easily become deadly. When a patient presents to our offices with a potential site of cancer, our skin doctors in San Fernando Valley will employ a wide range of potential treatments. The exact treatment can vary on the type of cancer, but here is a look at a couple common treatments.

Pre-Cancerous Actinic Keratosis

Approximately 58 million Americans have these lesions on their skin that, if left untreated, will likely turn into cancer. Treating this can be done with freezing the skin at that location using liquid nitrogen, or can also be treated just with topical medications. Other methods are also available.

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) and Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

These forms of cancer generally require local anesthesia to treat and generally involve cutting the cancerous lesion out. The most effective treatment for these is Mohs micrographic surgery, eliminating the cancer 98 percent of the time. But there are other methods for cutting the material out using different instruments and sometimes burning the site to kill any missed cells to prevent their replication.


Treating this cancer usually begins with cutting the site out using different methods, including Mohs when combined with a special chemical stains to help illuminate the cancerous cells. If caught early enough, this treatment should be enough to stop the cancer from spreading.

To get the treatment you need, contact our expert in skin cancer treatment in San Fernando Valley for a physical and, if called for, a biopsy.