Eyelid Basal Cell Carcinoma
Eyelid basal cell carcinoma is the most common cancer of the skin around the eye. It most frequently originates in the lower eyelid and is more common in fair-skinned adults between 50 and 80 years of age. The lesion appears as a nodule or it can appear as a simply thickened eyelid with eyelash loss. Sometime it hides under a skin abrasion or ulcer. This can be invasive and grow deep into the soft tissues around the eye and into the brain where it becomes life-threatening
The goal of management of eyelid basal cell carcinoma is complete tumor control. This means that the tumor should be surgically removed completely. This is accomplished in the operating room and with pathologic proof of tumor-free frozen section margins. The eyelid then needs to be reconstructed so that it functions normally and covers the eye. This requires great skill and the need to borrow tissue from the opposite eyelid, neck, ear, or sometimes the mouth. Occasionally the eyelids must be sewn shut for two months so that the eye is protected as the eyelids heal. Sometimes eyelid basal cell carcinoma is treated with a cream that is used for several months or it can be treated with an injection of chemotherapy.