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Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer and requires an aggressive approach to treatment; however, melanoma is not the only type of skin cancer nor is it the most common. Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), which originate from stem cells in hair follicles, are the most common type of skin cancer. BCCs grow slowly, and there is little risk that they will spread to other areas of the body, yet they should be taken seriously because treatment, if it comes too late, could require serious and potentially disfiguring surgery.
BCCs may appear minor on the surface of the skin while the tumor beneath, in the deeper layer of the skin, could be significantly larger. If a tumor becomes too large than skin grafts and/or complex reconstructive surgery may be required to repair the damage caused from the tumor’s removal.
How can you identify BCC in its early stages? Jason Waldinger, MD, Dermatologist at NorthShore, describes some common signs:
It is important to talk to your doctor or dermatologist about any changes you notice in your skin. Early detection of BCC is paramount to avoid complications and the need for complex surgery.