One of the first steps in determining your treatment plan is establishing the stage of your cancer. Because basal cell carcinoma (BCC) has a low risk of spread but does tend to recur, it has a unique staging system (see SCIENCE SIDEBAR). It is based primarily on risk features and whether the BCC is difficult to treat.
Smaller BCC with no high-risk features. The majority of BCCs fall into this category
Localized tumours that have one or more high-risk features
BCC that is localised and difficult to treat or that has spread (metastasized). Approximately 1%-10% of BCCs are considered advanced. Locally Advanced BCCs are often:
BCCs are likely to be difficult to treat in certain populations as well, such as:
Advanced disease can also be used to describe BCCs that metastasize (spread). This is only a small proportion—an estimated less than 0.55% (or one in 200) BCCs metastasize. For additional discussion, see below.
Here are some questions you can ask your healthcare provider about your pathology report.
Talking With Your Doctor About Your Biopsy Results
|Which subtype of BCC do I have?|
|Can I please have a copy of the pathology report?|
|What is the next step?|