Basal Cell Carcinoma (Eyelid Cancer)
This is the most common form of skin cancer of the eye lid. It appears as a white tumor, often with a pearly rolled border. Frequently a basal cell carcinoma will have a central area of ulceration that fails to heal over a long period of time. Rarely pigmented, these carcinomas are often confused with benign tumors and vice versa.
There is little doubt that excessive sun exposure is one cause of basal cell carcinoma. While these tumors rarely spread to distant locations in the body, they can be locally invasive and should be removed as soon as the diagnosis is suspected or made. These carcinomas should be examined under the microscope to insure that their margins are free of malignant cells.
A large percentage of patients who develop one basal cell will develop another in the following year or two. It is extremely important that these patients be monitored at frequent intervals for recurrences at the original site, as well as at other sun exposed areas.
The Goals of Therapy For This Disease Are:
- Complete removal of all the tumor cells
- Preservation of the delicate tissues of the eye
- Preservation of the tear ducts
- Prevention of spread into the orbit and deeper structures
- Maintenance of a pleasing cosmetic appearance
- Prevention of recurrences by wearing sunscreens, hats and covering sun exposed areas
- Early detection of recurrences and any new tumors, should they occur