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Basal Cell Carcinoma

Manhattan Dermatology

General, Surgical, & Cosmetic Dermatology & Mohs Surgery located in Midtown East, New York, NY

The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that basal cell carcinoma (BCC) accounts for more than 80% of the three million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer detected in women, men, and children in the United States each year. However, BCC is highly curable when treated early by an expert dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology in New York City’s Murray Hill and Midtown East. Add skin cancer screening to your self-care regimen — or have a suspicious mole checked out — by contacting the team at Manhattan Dermatology today. Call or book your appointment online.

Basal Cell Carcinoma Q & A

What is BCC?

Basal cell carcinoma is a common type of skin cancer that starts in the deepest layer of your skin, which is called the basal layer. Even though it starts in your skin, BCC is most often caused by skin damage that occurs from the outside, after you’ve been exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

How do you get BCC? 

You’re most likely to develop BCC if you have fair or freckled skin, light hair, or light eye color. If you burn rather than tan, you’re at greater risk. Other risk factors include:

  • Spending a lot of time outdoors
  • Not using sunscreen
  • Using tanning beds
  • A family history of BCC
  • Taking immunity-suppressing drugs
  • Previous occurrence of BCC
  • Overexposure to X-ray treatments
  • Basal cell nevus syndrome


Even if you use sunscreen effectively now, you could still develop BCC due to a sunburn you had years ago.

How can I tell if I have BCC? 

As part of your self-care regimen, you should regularly examine your face, scalp, and body for new or changed moles or lesions. You may have BCC if you see:

  • A dome-shaped growth with visible blood vessels
  • Shiny pink or red, scaly patch on your trunk or elsewhere
  • Hard, waxy, pale growth with undefined edges
  • A sore that bleeds, oozes, crusts, or returns
  • A lesion or sore that looks like a crater
  • Any lesion surrounded by visible blood vessels
  • Pinkish line that looks like a scar
  • Brown or black growth

If you notice these or other suspicious changes on your skin, contact Manhattan Dermatology right away.

How do dermatologists treat BCC?

Most BCCs can be cured when they’re detected early. Your dermatologist may treat your BCC with: 

  • Topical cream with anti-cancer drugs imiquimod or 5-fluorouracil
  • Cryosurgery to freeze and kill cancer cells
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT) for early cases
  • Radiation for severe cases
  • Oral vismodegib and sonidegib for BCC that has spread to other areas.


In some cases, Dr. Wendy Long performs a specialized treatment called Mohs surgery. She gently scrapes away your lesion and surrounding skin. If she detects cancer cells, she continues the process until the lesion is gone.

Keep your skin healthy with a cancer screening or BCC treatment. Book an appointment online or call the knowledgeable Manhattan Dermatology team.

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