Three Types Of Skin Cancer Treatments And How They Can Benefit You

The type of skin cancer treatment that will be best for you will depend on your specific diagnosis and other factors. Here are just three of the options you have for treatment, especially if the cancerous cells have not spread to the lymph nodes.

Radiation Therapy

One of the most common treatments performed for those with skin cancer is radiation therapy, where radiation is focused on the areas with cancer to kill off any cancerous cells. This technique is used as an alternative to chemotherapy, as instead of attacking the entire body it focuses on the cells where the cancer is present. This treatment is frequently used with Basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. As with any treatment, this has side effects and for radiation therapy, this includes skin irritation and hair loss. 

Topical Chemotherapy

Another option for those with skin cancer seeking treatment is topical chemotherapy, where a chemotherapy cream or ointment is applied to the area with skin cancer. This method allows for more focused treatment of skin cancer while still providing the strength that chemotherapy provides. This also helps people avoid many of the extreme side effects that general chemotherapy has, although topical chemotherapy can also cause skin irritation. This method is also used with basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma, just as with radiation therapy, but does not involve using an x-ray or other technology to fight the cancerous cells.

Mohs Surgery

One of the most specialized and yet effective treatments of skin cancer is Mohs surgery, where the cancerous cells are removed with as little surrounding tissue as possible. This treatment is highly effective and less expensive than other options, although the doctor that performs the surgery generally needs special training. This treatment is especially useful for skin cancers that have not spread to the lymph nodes, including basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, but also for skin cancer that is aggressive or spreading quickly. This surgery is performed in several rounds where the patient's skin undergoes lab analysis, the cancerous areas are removed, and then more analysis is performed until all of the cancerous cells are removed.

If you or a loved one has skin cancer, you have a variety of options, depending on your diagnosis and the extent of the skin cancer. You may be recommended for radiation therapy, topical chemotherapy, or Mohs surgery. All of these methods seek to remove the cancerous cells while keeping as many healthy cells alive as possible, especially for areas that are aesthetically important.

For more information about skin cancer treatments, talk to your doctor.