Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment

Basal cell carcinoma is treatable if the patient receives timely medical attention. Mohs micrographic surgery is recognized as the most effective way to fight basal cell carcinoma (BCC). This treatment has a cure rate as high as 99 percent for skin cancers such as BCC. Damage to the surrounding healthy tissue is minimized with Mohs surgery. What Causes Acne? | St Louis Dermatology | Belleville Dermatologist

Dr. Jamie McGinness is a board certified dermatologist and a renowned expert in Mohs surgery and reconstruction. Dr. McGinness is the only fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon currently serving the Metro East Illinois St. Louis area. He provides treatments for basal cell carcinoma to patients in Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and other towns and suburbs in this part of the Midwest.

Mohs Surgery

To address basal cell carcinoma, the surgeon will use Mohs surgery to precisely remove tissue layers in the diseased area until all cancer cells have been eliminated. Each layer is microscopically analyzed as it is removed in order to detect the presence of cancerous cells.

The surgeon can microscopically evaluate 100 percent of the surgical margin in case of Mohs surgery, which makes it a highly effective technique. Mohs surgeons are trained in evaluating the pathologic slides and interpret the tissue margins. This accurate, multi-step process allows the skin cancer to be mapped out and precisely removed, while ensuring minimal loss of healthy surrounding tissue.

Dr. McGinness performs Mohs surgery as an in-office procedure, using only local anesthesia. The procedure requires several hours to complete in most cases because a thorough tissue analysis of each tissue layer is involved in addition to the surgery. Depending on the extent of surgery, a surgical reconstruction may be performed immediately or at a later date.

Non-Surgical Treatments for BCC

Topical Chemotherapy

Although this procedure is usually only effective when used on lesions of the uppermost skin layers of skin, it is an excellent alternative if basal cell carcinoma is only superficial. The topical compound is applied to the affected area, which will eliminate the cancerous cells. As the treatment is topical, the side effects are negligible and the treatment is easier to tolerate.

Radiation Therapy

This treatment may be recommended for patients who are unable to tolerate surgery or want to avoid surgery due to old age or other reasons. Radiation may also be used when the BCC is located in an area where the cosmetic effects of a surgery could be unsightly.

Photodynamic Therapy

This relatively new treatment option may be an effective way to address superficial BCC. The first part of the treatment involves application of a topical compound that increases the photosensitivity of skin cells. Once the drug is absorbed, a sharp light is focused over the affected site to destroy the cancerous cells.


This technique involves scraping away layers of the cancerous lesion with a circular to oval-shaped instrument called a curette. The procedure may be recommended if the cancerous lesions are only superficial. Steady, committed, and board certified dermatologist Dr. McGinness receives patients from Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and nearby areas for basal cell carcinoma treatment and various other dermatology procedures.

If you would like to learn more about procedures and treatments at Metro East Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center by Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Jamie L. McGinness please contact us here or call (618) 622-SKIN (7546)

Taking new patients in and around the greater St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois area: East St. Louis Missouri, Shiloh Illinois, Belleville, Millstadt, Saint Clair County, Madison County and more.

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