How Do I Know my Doctor Removed All of my Basal Cell Carcinoma?

I went to see my derm four weeks ago for a bump on my nose. She treated it immediately as bcc, saying that it was small and did not go very deep. She used a process where she scraped and then burned, scraped and burned. She said, Mohs would have been much more invasive and I did not need it. She told me to treat the side of my nose with efudex solution for four weeks. Should I have had Mohs? Do I need a second opinion? I'm worried.

Doctor Answers 2

Curette is acceptable treatment for superficial BCC.

It was not clear from your question if a biopsy confirmed the diagnosis prior to treatment. A confirmatory biopsy is needed to best plan the treating procedure. There is no way to know if a BCC was superficial, or even a BCC, unless a biospy was done first. Moh's is only indicated for severe, or recurring BCC or BCC near eyes, ears, mouth, where scarring and cosmetic deformity could be worse. Efudex is really for actinic keratosis. Aldara can be used to treat BCC adjunctively after currettage, or as a first choice for biopsy proven superficial BCC.

New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Basal cell carcinoma on the nose

You might have had what we call a superficial basal cell carcinoma which does not spread deeply.  If so, what your dermatologist did was reasonable.  Efudex was recommended to "mop up" any remaining cancerous cells that the scrape & burn procedure did not address.  You should follow up with your dermatologist in 3-6 months to check the treated site to ensure no recurrence of the tumor.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

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