Skin Cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime and the incidence of skin cancer continues to rise. Skin cancer is highly treatable when detected early, so if you notice anything changing, growing, bleeding, painful or worrisome to you don't wait to have a dermatologist evaluate you. The team at the Skin Cancer Institute has experience with all types of skin cancer treatments and can help you determine which treatment is right for you. Treatment options available at the Skin Cancer Institute include the following:
The most effective treatment for basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, Mohs surgery is performed in the office under local anesthesia. Only the affected tissue is removed and it is immediately examined to determine if any additional tissue is involved and requires removal. This method allows for complete removal of the cancer in a single visit with minimal damage to nearby healthy tissue. (For a more in-depth explanation, please visit- http://www.mohssurgery.org/files/public/patient_information_brochure.pdf)
Superficial Radiotherapy (SRT) is a gentle, non-invasive form of treatment that used low-energy radiotherapy to penetrates the skin and target abnormal cells. SRT requires several treatments over a few weeks but does not require cutting or anesthesia. SRT treats non-melanoma skin cancers and is especially helpful for areas where surgical procedures would be difficult or cause poor cosmetic results—like the face, head, neck, or lower leg. It is also a great option for patients at risk from medical procedures. (For further questions about SRT treatment visit- http://sensushealthcare.com/about-us/faq/)
Excision involves cutting out the cancer cells along with some of the surrounding tissue (a safe "margin"). It is performed in the office under local anesthesia. The tissue removed is later examined to ensure that all of the cancer has been removed.
Electrodessication and curettage (ED&C) is a common treatment used mainly for superficial and small basal cell cancers. After local anesthetic is administered, the tumor is scraped off with a curette, and heat is applied to destroy any remaining tumor. Sutures are not necessary. ED&C is most suitable for areas where a scar will be less noticeable, the cancer has not spread too deeply into the skin, and the involved area is being treated for the first time.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an innovative, non-invasive treatment option that combines drug and light therapy to attack both precancerous and cancer cells. The drug is applied topically to the affected area, absorbed by the affected cells, and then activated using light therapy. PDT is an outpatient procedure, that can be used in conjunction with other treatment options and can be repeated as necessary. The treatment does make patients sensitive to light for several days after the procedure.
Cryotherapy (sometimes referred to as "cryosurgery") is a method of skin cancer treatment that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze tumor tissue. A blister and scab usually forms over the treated area, and falls off as the treated area heals. Many patients prefer cryotherapy because there is no cutting or bleeding involved. It is usually performed wiithout anesthesia, and it can be repeated as many times as necessary. This treatment is most commonly used with actinic keratosis or early-stage basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas.
A small amount of trichloracetic acid (TCA) or a similar chemical is applied topically to the skin tumor, killing the tumor cells over the course of several days. This technique can also be used to treat actinic keratoses.
A variety of topical medications are used to treat lower-risk cancers. These can be used in conjunction with other treatment options. These include:
Because topical treatments are carried out at home and require weeks of regular application, additional monitoring and testing is often required to determine the completion of the treatment.
Methotrexate may be injected at intervals into some cancers, most often Keratoacanthoma type squamous cell carcinomas, to avoid large surgeries. Interferon may sometimes be used to treat BCCs or squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), especially when alternative therapies are not feasible. It is also used as a second line or adjunctive treatment for some melanomas.
The skin is your body's largest organ and may be afflicted by both temporary and chronic medical conditions. When you have a problem plaguing your skin, you need a knowledgeable dermatologic professional that you can trust to diagnose and treat you both quickly and effectively. That is where the Skin Cancer Institute comes in. Our board-certified dermatologists keep up with the latest in evidence-based medicine and employ cutting-edge procedures and medications to treat a wide range disorders of the skin, hair, and nails. These conditions include:
We are happy to educate our patients and will work together to find a treatment plan that's right for you.