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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest treatment for basal cell cancer

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Dr. Geetika Paul

Dermatologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 2609 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 27 Aug 2014 in Cancer
Question: I had a basal cell cancer removed from my arm for the second time but the dr. said she has to go back in because it tested positive. We knew from the biopsy it was basal cell. What exactly does the positive mean?
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Answered by Dr. Geetika Paul 12 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Re excision required when margins positive

Detailed Answer:
Hi

Testing positive means that the margins of the excised lesions have turned out to be positive for basal cell carcinoma cells.
So this means that you might require a revision of the excised area to clear the margins.
Basically when a basal cell carcinoma lesion is excised, it is necessary to remove the complete lesion along with certain millimetres of the surrounding area so as to prevent chances of recurrence. So the excised sample is always tested microscopically for the abnormal cells .
If the margins come out to be positive, a re excision of the margins is required.

Hope this clears your doubts.

Dr Geetika Paul
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Follow up: Dr. Geetika Paul 6 minutes later
So it still wont kill me? It doesn't mean malignant does it?
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Answered by Dr. Geetika Paul 15 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Nothing to worry

Detailed Answer:
Hi again

No . Not at all. You surely need not worry about it. It would not cause any harm to you.
A simple revision of the margins is essential. This is basically done to prevent any recurrence .
It is not otherwise dangerous or anything. So don't worry. Just follow up with your doctor for re excision .

Dr Geetika Paul
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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