As of 2015, treatments that remove basal cell carcinoma successfully include freezing the cancer cells, cutting out the tumor, and scraping away the tumor and using electricity to kill any remaining cancer cells, according to WebMD. Treatment options may depend on the size, stage and placement of the tumor.
Curettage and desiccation treatment involves the doctor using a curette, a spoon-shaped tool, to scrape off the tumor, WebMD reports. An electric needle kills remaining cancer cells and controls bleeding. The surgeon numbs the site first, so the patient feels no pain.
Another option is to cut out the tumor, WebMD states. This includes the same procedure with the curette, but after scraping away some of the tumor, the doctor cuts out the rest along with some surrounding skin. If cancer cells are found in the surrounding skin upon pathological examination, the patient may need more skin removed.
Sometimes doctors remove the tumor with cryosurgery, WebMD says. The doctor kills the cancer cells by freezing them with liquid nitrogen.
The goal of basal cell carcinoma treatment is to remove all of the cancer with the least amount of scarring, WebMD states. The doctor also recommends the best treatment based on the patient's general health.