Skin Cancer Center

Skin cancer Treatment

If the biopsy reveals skin cancer, the physician will discuss treatment options. Treatment for skin cancer varies according to the type, location, extent, aggressiveness of the cancer, and the person’s general health. The goals of treatment for skin cancer are to:

  1. Eliminate all of the cancer
  2. Reduce the chance of recurrence
  3. Preserve healthy skin tissue
  4. Minimize scarring after surgery

If further treatment or excision is needed, melanoma can be treated by specialists such as:

  • Dermatologist
  • Dermatological surgeon
  • Medical oncologist
  • Plastic or reconstructive surgeon

Biological therapy
Biological therapy (biotherapy or immunotherapy) is a type of treatment that uses the immune system of the individual to fight against cancer. This therapy is using body substances or artificial substances to enhance, direct, or restore the body's natural defenses against cancer.

Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment (affects cells throughout the entire body) that uses pharmaceuticals that either stop the abnormal growth and dividing process of the cancerous cells or kills the cancer cells..

Cosmetic treatments
Excessive exposure to the sun early in life can make a person look older due to premature wrinkling and skin damage. Photoaging, or skin aging related to the sun, can cause course, dry skin, freckling, skin discoloration, leathery skin, and deep wrinkles. You can talk to your doctor about the following treatments to help cosmetically treat sun damaged skin.

Botulinum toxin type A (botox) - During a botox treatment, doctor inject botulinum toxin (a complex type of protein) into specific muscles to immobilize them, preventing them from forming wrinkles and furrows. The use of botulinum can also soften wrinkles.

Chemical peels - Chemical peels are often used to minimize sun-damaged skin, irregular pigment, and superficial scars. During this process, doctors can remove the top layer of skin with a chemical application to trigger skin regeneration, often improving the skin's appearance.

Collagen injections – During this procedure, collagen derived from purified bovine (cow) collagen, is injected beneath the skin to to treat wrinkles, scars, and facial lines.

Dermabrasion - Dermabrasion may be used to minimize small scars, minor skin surface irregularities, surgical scars, and acne scars. During he procedures, doctors remove the top layers of skin with an electrical machine that "abrades" the skin. As the skin heals from the procedure, the surface appears smoother and fresher.

Laser skin resurfacing - Laser skin resurfacing uses high-energy light to burn away damaged skin to minimize wrinkles and fine scars.

Non-ablative skin resurfacing - This newer treatment option uses a laser and electrical energy light to burn away damaged skin to minimize wrinkles and fine scars without damaging the top layers of skin.

Microdermabrasion – This procedure uses small particles passed through a vacuum tube to remove skin and stimulate new skin growth.

Tretinoin treatment – Tretinoin is a prescription topical cream that can be prescribed to reduce wrinkles, rough skin, and discolored skin.

Photodynamic therapy
Photodynamic therapy is a cancer treatment that uses a certain drug, that is absorbed by the cancer cells with a special type of laser light to kill the cancer cells which absorbed the drug. The drug is injected into the body through a vein . It becomes active only when the skin is exposed to the laser light killing the cancer cells.

Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy uses high focused x-rays to terminate the cancer cells. This type of treatment does not cure advanced skin cancer. It can shrink the tumor. It is used as the only treatment option for those individuals that are good candidates for surgery.

For Stage 1 or 2 skin cancer of any type, surgery is very often the only treatment necessary for a cure. At Stage 3 or 4, however, additional therapy is prescribed in conjunction with the surgical procedure.Surgery options for skin cancer include:

Cryosurgery or cryotherapy - This procedure uses a special instrument that terminates the cancer tissues by freezing them with liquid-nitrogen.

Electrodessication and curettage -This procedure involves two steps. The electrode has two roles: 1) arrests the bleeding and 2) destroys the cancer cells that remained after the tumor was removed. This two step procedure may be repeated many times during the surgery until the cancer is completely removed.

Laser surgery - A procedure that uses a laser beam to remove the tumor.

Mohs micrographic surgery -This procedure is commonly used to remove skin cancer tumors from the face. Only small amounts of healthy tissue are removed using this surgical method.

Simple excision – Skin excision is a procedure that removes the tumor along with some healthy skin around the tumor location.

Shave excision - This procedure which uses a small blade to shave off the tumor.

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