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Diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma on cheek. Surgically removed. Chances of spreading?

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Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1462 Questions
Skin cancer concern :

Thank you for this service.

I am stressing with worry so I would really appreciate some insight.

Almost two years ago I was diagnosed with a nodular basal cell carcinoma on my right cheek. At the time, it was about 1 and a half cm in size.

It was completely excised with clear margins by a plastic surgeon.

My question is about potential spread throughout my body. I have become worried that maybe it got into my body. Before diagnosis, I was mislead by a pharmacist into thinking it was fungal so I tried some remedies to shift the spot. One of the remedies was to use diluted bleach. I know, very stupid. It burnt the surface of my skin over the spot and around it, causing it to peel and scab over.

My question is, would this trauma have caused XXXXXXX spread that the doctors may not have picked up?

I am told BCC does not spread and is locally invasive, but I have issues with anxiety and I cannot stop worrying.

Does trauma of any kind to BCC skin cancer facilitate its spread?

Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Posted Sun, 29 Apr 2012 in Skin Cancer
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 11 hours later
Thanks for the query.

I am glad to know that your basal cell cancer was detected early and was appropriately treated by surgery with clear margins. That makes the chance of recurrence at the same site very low!

You are absolutely right in that the basal cell cancers rarely spread to distant sites. Trauma is NOT known to facilitate its spread.

You need to establish a follow-up care plan with your physician which includes routine screening for new additional skin cancers, including whole body skin examinations by a health care professional. This is because many people treated for one skin cancer later develop other skin cancers. Also, people treated for skin cancer are encouraged to talk with their doctors about following a healthy diet that includes foods containing antioxidants such as vitamins E and C and selenium.

Sun protection is essential to help prevent other skin cancers. Participating in outdoor activities before 10:00 AM or after 4:00 PM and wearing long sleeves, pants, sunscreen, sunglasses with UV protection, and a hat will protect against further skin damage.

You need to maintain good health, such as maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, eating a balanced diet, and having recommended cancer screening tests.

Hope this was of help to you.I will be available for follow up.
Wishing you good health.
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