Basal Cell Carcinoma Specialist

Desiree Ratner, MD -  - Dermatologist

Desiree Ratner, MD

Dermatologist located in Murray Hill, New York, NY

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common kind of skin cancer with more than 2 million cases diagnosed each year in the United States alone. If you notice an abnormal spot on your skin, board-certified dermatologist Desiree Ratner, MD, in New York City offers expert diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Ratner specializes in treating skin cancers, including conditions such as basal cell carcinoma at her Murray Hill office, using Mohs surgery. To find the treatment option that works for you, call or use online booking to schedule a consultation.

Basal Cell Carcinoma Q & A

What is basal cell carcinoma?

The most commonly occurring type of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma is a slow-growing cancer that occurs mostly on sun-exposed areas of the body, although it can occur on parts of the body that aren’t exposed to the sun. It rarely spreads beyond the skin. The condition takes many forms, so it’s important to watch for any changes on your skin, especially on your face, neck, and hands.

How is basal cell carcinoma diagnosed?

A biopsy is usually performed by a medical dermatologist to make a diagnosis.  

To perform a skin biopsy, the doctor first numbs the area she’s taking a sample from and then removes a portion of skin and sends the tissue to a lab for testing. If a skin cancer is present, she then discusses the appropriate treatment options with you and may refer you to a surgical dermatologist for evaluation. Dr. Ratner is a surgical dermatologist specializing in the treatment of basal cell carcinoma.

How is basal cell carcinoma treated?

There are a number of treatments for basal cell carcinoma, including both nonsurgical and surgical options.Dr. Ratner usually treats low-risk basal cell carcinomas with scraping and burning, cryosurgery, topical medications, or excision. She usually treats high-risk basal cell carcinomas with Mohs surgery, although Dr. Ratner may recommend radiation or targeted medications in individual cases.

Dr. Ratner specializes in Mohs surgery, which involves removing the cancerous cells layer by layer. The advantage of this treatment is that it saves healthy tissues since it targets the cancerous areas. It also boasts a  cure rate that may be as high as 99%

Depending on your unique situation, Dr. Ratner will decide which treatment works best for you, taking the size, depth and location of the cancer, the patient’s overall health and other factors into consideration. For a consultation regarding skin cancer treatment, call Dr. Ratner’s office to make an appointment.

How can I prevent basal cell carcinoma?

There are a number of things you can do to help prevent basal cell carcinoma from developing:

  • Protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen, applied 30 minutes before going outside to all sun-exposed areas
  • Avoid sunburns, tanning, and tanning booths
  • Seek the shade between 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun’s rays are strongest
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2-3 hours when outside, especially when sweating or swimming
  • Examine your skin head to toe every month
  • Visit your medical dermatologist for yearly exams, and sooner if you note a lesion that is bleeding, growing, or changing