Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common skin cancer, and actually the most common cancer found in the entire head and neck region. BCC can have many different appearances, but the most common involves a rolled or slightly raised border, are shiny or pearly on the surface, and display tiny blood vessels on top (telangiectasia). Some BCCs have a pink or flesh-color, while others are more tan or brown. In rare cases, patients may have a genetic conditions which causes many BCCs to develop.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin (SCC) is much less common than BCC, and has a distinct presentation. SCC often looks scaly, flakey, or dry, and may be confused with eczema or other benign skin conditions. SCCs may arise in pre-cancerous lesions, called actinic keratoses, which are related to chronic sun damage. In rare cases, SCC may be attributed to exposure to certain chemicals. Finally, patients who are immunosuppressed (e.g., after an organ transplant surgery) or have a weakened immune system for other reasons (e.g., chemotherapy, HIV, etc.( may develop many SCCs or BCCs.
Dr. Ransom can remove BCC and SCC on the face and neck, particularly when lesions are large. For smaller lesions and those in highly functional areas, he refers patients for Mohs micrographic surgery, which is performed by a select group of dermatologists. Once the tumor is completely cleared, Dr. Ransom can then perform the reconstruction, whether simple or extremely complex, using meticulous techniques and local flaps and grafts.
Dr. Ransom strives in all cases to ensure your scar is nearly imperceptible – making sure that you feel whole again after your procedure. Biopsy or removal of skin cancers, and Mohs reconstructions, are performed under local anesthesia or with mild sedation, depending on patient preference and other factors.
Please note that all patients are different and individual healing times and results may vary. The statements regarding procedures and recovery made here are general rules.