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Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome - Information and Diagnosis of Skin Cancer

Basal cell nevus syndrome or more known as Gorlin's disease is a medical term for the genetic abnormalities usually affecting different parts of the body such as the nervous system, the endocrine glands, bones, eyes, and skin. This disease, in fact, shows more on the skin, making one more prone to skin cancers. But aside from that obvious symptom, a person with the Nevus would also manifest brain tumors, mental retardation, seizures, deafness, and spontaneous bone fractures. How did this all start in the first place?

It begins in the genes, as earlier suggested. So if a family has a long history of basal cell nervous syndrome, there is the high probability that it will continue on to their offspring. Current advancements in molecular genetics have increased our understanding of the syndrome in that studies have shown that different organs could be “eaten up” by what experts call the nevoid basal cell carcinomas. These present as an autosomal dominant trait in a person's genetic framework. Just for the record, a recent study has just shown an approximate one case per 56,000-164,000 population, with a considerably higher occurrence in individuals younger than 20 years who present with basal cell carcinomas.

There are actually four known symptoms of this disease namely neurologic, cutaneous, genitourinary, and dental. But let's treat the neurologic and the dental, as it is the most common. In the nervous system, this manifests as hydrocephalus or an enlargement of the head caused by fluid collection in the brain, a condition common among infants, deafness, seizures, brain tumors like medullablostoma, deafness, mental retardation, and a discoloration in the iris, which is the colored part of the eye, or in the lens of the eye. If it creeps into the skeletal system, this usually manifests as scoliosis or the curving of the back, kyphosis or the severe slouching of the upper back, and cysts in the upper jaw or lower jaw. These may lead to a host of other complications, as earlier suggested, like brain tumors, blindness, deafness, fractures, and skin destruction from skin cancers.

Nevoid Basal Cell Carcinoma - How do we Treat this Skin Cancer?

The ultimate question is how do we treat this? The answer would depend as to how far the carcinomas have damaged the surrounding tissues or the size and severity of the tumor. In most cases, doctors would usually recommend various surgical procedures, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. Biopsies of skin lesions or jaw cysts are equally helpful suggestions. Also, take note that it should be a specialist in the field of which you are affected (for example for tumors, an oncologist or cancer specialist is needed) and not just any kind of doctor.