Aldara Use for Basal Cell CarcinomaBasal cell carcinoma occurs when cancer cells form in the top layer of the skin called the epidermis. It is the most common form of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is generally a slow-growing cancer. It rarely spreads to other areas of the body. However, if left untreated, it can grow into surrounding tissue, where it can cause damage.
Basal cell carcinoma can occur anywhere, but is usually found on areas of the skin that are routinely exposed to natural or artificial sunlight. Some of these areas include the:
Certain people may have a higher risk for developing basal cell carcinoma. This includes people who:
- Have been exposed to large amounts of natural or artificial light
- Have scars or burns on the skin
- Have chronic skin inflammation
- Take immunosuppressant medications
- Have light-colored skin.
Treatment for most basal cell carcinoma involves some kind of surgery. Generally, the cancer is removed completely during a biopsy and no further treatment is required. Radiation therapy may be used to treat areas that are difficult to treat with surgery.
Aldara is an option when surgery is not appropriate to treat the cancer. It is specifically approved for superficial (not deep) basal cell cancer of the following areas of the body:
- The trunk (excluding the genital/anal area)
- Extremities (excluding the feet and hands).
It is not approved for nonsuperficial basal cell cancer lesions, such as nodular and morpheaform (fibrosing or sclerosing) types.