Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment

By Lisa Benest, MD

Burbank, California 91506

Physician (MD, DO), Dermatology


The most common methods for removing basal cell carcinoma (BCCs) are surgical excision (cutting it out) and curettage and desiccation (C&D) (scraping and burning).

Larger skin cancers and difficult to treat areas, such as the nose and other areas of the face, would be the likeliest candidates for Mohs surgery.

The major advance in treating BCCs is the use of topical immune system booster, imiquimod for skin cancer.

I have had very good success with many skin cancers using this Zyclar (imiquimod) cream.  The advantage is that surgery is avoided, including surgical scars.  The disadvantage is that the cream does create a strong immune reaction, which means the area typically gets very red and scabby for a couple of months.

Ultimately, each patient should discuss with his or her doctor which treatment option is best for the type of skin cancer, the size and the location.