Cancer Skin Treatment
Treatment for skin cancer depends on the type of skin cancer. Skin cancers that are prone to spread, such as melanoma, require much more aggressive therapy. Treatment also varies with the size, depth, and location of the cancer. Skin cancer is almost always treated with surgical removal of the skin cancer. Depending on the type of skin cancer, chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also play a role in treatment.
Treatment for skin cancer may include:
- Surgery for skin cancer:
- Mohs micrographic surgery: portions of the cancer are removed in a step-wise fashion, until the entire region of cancer cells are removed.
- Cryotherapy: local freezing kills the cancer cells
- Curettage: the cancer is scraped from the skin surface
- Electrodesiccation: layers of the cancer are removed over time
- Laser therapy for skin cancer:
- A laser is used to kill the cancer cells
- Photodynamic therapy:
- Medication is injected into the blood stream
- The medication is absorbed by the cancer cells
- The cancer is exposed to a particular type of light
- The light activates the medication to kill the cancer cells
- Chemotherapy for skin cancer
- The administration of medicines that kill cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy for skin cancer:
- Exposing cancer cells to radiation can kill them.
- Immunotherapy for skin cancer:
- Medications for nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy include:
For more information:
Cancer Skin Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of skin cancer.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk of complications?
- Are my children at risk for this condition?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Cancer Skin Specialist
Cancer Skin Surgery
Surgery for skin cancer may include:
- Surgical excision for skin cancer:
- The cancer is surgically removed from the skin
- Curettage for skin cancer:
- The cancer is scraped from the skin surface
- Electro dissection for skin cancer:
- Electricity is used to remove layers of the cancer over time
- Cryosurgery for skin cancer:
- The cancer is frozen
- Laser surgery for skin cancer:
Continue to Cancer Skin Home Care
- Campbell FA, Gupta G. The management of non-melanoma skin cancer. Hosp Med. 2005 May;66(5):288-93. 
- Einspahr JG, Bowden GT, Alberts DS. Skin cancer chemoprevention: strategies to save our skin. Recent Results Cancer Res. 2003;163:151-64; discussion 264-6. 
- Ollstein RN. Skin lesions in the elderly: precancer and cancer. Care Manag J. 2004 Summer;5(2):107-11. 
- Saraiya M, Glanz K, Briss P, Nichols P, White C, Das D; Task Force on Community Preventive Services On reducing Exposure to Ultraviolet Light. Preventing skin cancer: findings of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services On reducing Exposure to Ultraviolet Light. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2003 Oct 17;52(RR-15):1-12.