There are a few effective treatment options for skin cancer. In general, treatment for skin cancer depends on the following factors:
The main treatment for skin cancer is surgery. However, some patients may also require other treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or cryotherapy.
An individual with cancer should be assessed by a specialist to determine which treatment is best suited for them.
If the skin defect after surgery is large, our surgical oncologists will work with a plastic surgeon to provide reconstructive services to restore a natural appearance. The multidisciplinary team will ensure good oncology treatment and aesthetic reconstruction for best outcomes.
Cryotherapy refers to the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze and destroy pre-cancerous skin lesions (actinic keratosis) and some small early skin cancers. Freezing causes the cancerous tissue to die and form a scab that will naturally fall off in time.
This is a simple and quick procedure used to treat basal cell cancers or thin squamous cell cancers. After removing most of the skin growth, the doctor scrapes away layers of cancer cells using a device with a circular blade (curet). An electric needle is then used to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
When necessary, this procedure may be used in combination with cryotherapy (see above).
Radiotherapy also known as radiation therapy uses powerful energy beams to kill cancer cells. It may be used when the cancer cannot be completely removed during surgery.
For cancers limited to the top layer of skin, creams or lotions containing anti-cancer agents may be applied directly to the skin. Systemic chemotherapy (injected into a vein or taken orally) can be used to treat skin cancers that have spread to other parts of the body.
In patients with advanced skin cancer, chemotherapy may be used alone or with surgery, immunotherapy and radiotherapy.
Photodynamic therapy destroys skin cancer cells with a combination of laser light and drugs that makes cancer cells sensitive to light.
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