Basal Cell Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

If your doctor determines you have skin cancer, you may have additional tests to determine the extent (stage) of the skin cancer.

Because superficial skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma rarely spread, a biopsy that removes the entire growth often is the only test needed to determine the cancer stage. But if you have a large squamous cell carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, or melanoma, your doctor may recommend further tests to determine the extent of cancer.

Treatment Considerations for Basal Cell Cancer
Treatment Considerations for Basal Cell Cancer

Basal Cell Cancer Treatment

Most basal cell carcinomas may be treated by one of the following methods. The choice of treatment is influenced by:

  • size, location, type, and grade of tumour
  • person's age and health
  • whether the tumour is primary or has come back after treatment (recurred)
  • availability of the treatment
Treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma
Treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma

The following represent the range of treatments of available for basal cell carcinoma:


  • Aldara has recently been approved for the treatment of Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma

More information about Aldara, including how it works and clinical results.


  • Used for small lesions that are less than 2 cm
  • Not used for lesions on areas where the cancer is likely to recur (nose, lips, eyelids, ears, scalp, temple)


  • The tumour is removed along with a margin of cancer-free skin


  • used for all types of basal cell cancers
  • commonly used for:
  • areas that are at high risk of recurrence (eyelids, nose, ears, forehead, scalp), as well as lesions that have already recurred
    • lesions that are larger than 2 cm, as well as lesions with poorly defined borders

    • areas where maintaining function and appearance are important

    • invasive lesions that have spread to underlying cartilage or bone

    • tumours that have been left untreated for a long time

    • people with nevus basal cell carcinoma syndrome

  • it involves a meticulous study of tissues removed by a pathologist at the time of surgery

Mohs Micrographic Surgery
Mohs Micrographic Surgery


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