The type of skin cancer treatment you’ll receive will depend on the type of skin cancer you’ve been diagnosed with, the extent of the disease and other factors, with treatment plans individualized for each patient. Here are some of the options our doctor may recommend.
Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The most common types of skin cancer affect either the squamous cells, the flat cells that make up the top layer of skin, or the basal cells, round cells just under this top layer. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma grow slowly and rarely spread beyond the skin, so they can often be removed with a simple outpatient surgical procedure. Types of procedures for these types of skin cancer include the following:
-Mohs surgery, the most effective type of treatment for these cancers with a success rate exceeding 98 percent. With this technique, our surgeon removes one thin layer of skin at a time and immediately examines it for the presence of cancerous cells. This allows the precise mapping of the affected area to ensure that all cancer is removed.
-Excision, in which a scalpel is used to remove the cancerous cells and surrounding tissue. The resulting wound is sutured and the excised tissue is tested to ensure that all cancerous cells have been removed from the skin. This procedure cures about 92 percent of squamous cell cancers according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
-Electrosurgery is used for small cancerous lesions. The affected area is excised using a curette and remaining cancerous cells are destroyed with an electrocautery needle.
-Cryosurgery, in which the cancerous tissue is destroyed with liquid nitrogen.
-Radiation beams that kill cancerous cells without damaging surrounding tissue.
Melanoma is a rare but aggressive cancer that affects the melanocytes, the skin cells that provide pigment. Left untreated, melanoma can spread to other areas of the body. If melanoma is detected, the first line of defense is either Mohs surgery or excision. When the melanoma spreads to the lymph nodes (stage 3) or beyond the lymph nodes to other organs and tissues (stage 4), additional treatment is required. Depending on the extent of the cancer, our doctor will recommend an appropriate form of skin cancer treatment.
Most people with skin cancer have a good prognosis, especially if the disease is detected early. You can protect yourself by wearing sunscreen to block the sun’s harmful UV rays. If you have been diagnosed with this form of cancer, it is vital to seek proper skin cancer treatment as soon as possible. We provide caring and comprehensive skin cancer treatment at Southeastern Dermatology in Fayetteville, NC. Contact us today to learn more about your options.