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A simple scab? Or, life threatening Carcinoma?

heroimage0.540064001593446422This was a lesion on the cheek of a really nice female patient that I have had the privilege of knowing for several years.  This photo was taken in my office under high magnification.

She had no symptoms, but when I asked her specifically about the lesion, this patient noted that the lesion had been there a few months and wouldn’t go away.  She also explained that she did feel the need to rub the area with her fingers or nails occasionally.

This is likely a Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC).  We hastened to refer her to dermatology for consultation.

Here are the things to look out for with this type of skin cancer:

  • Waxy with a central depression.

  • Pearly appearance.

  • Ulceration with central pigmentation.

  • Bleeding when rubbed.

  • Raised border.

  • Blood vessels growing over the top.

  • Oozing or crusting.

You can see that this patient’s lesion basically has all of the clinical signs mentioned above.

The prognosis for patients with Basal Cell Carcinoma is good, but if the disease is allowed to progress, it can cause significant morbidity.

BCC accounts for 80% of all skin cancers and occurs in about 30% of white patients.  The risk of developing BCC increases with age and lifetime UV exposure.

These are really common around the eyes.  Please remind all of your family members about the dangers of UV light and encourage the use of sunscreen and sunglasses for protection against these types of cancer.

It is important to see your eye doctor about any changes in your skin around your eyes. Early detection is imperative when talking about Basal Cell Carcinoma. It can be one of the most deadly forms of cancer.

Dr. Jeremy Wiggins and Dr. Bret Furnish are focused on your health and are sure to check for many medical conditions, such as BCC, at every yearly eye exam as a part of our full comprehensive eye exam. Dr. Furnish and Dr. Wiggins serve the Tri-City area, to include Tuttle, Newcastle, Blanchard, and Mustang.