Treatments for Skin Cancer
Treatments for Skin Cancer:
The first step in the treatment of skin cancer is prevention. The best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid sunburn and sun exposure in both children and adults. Just getting one bad, blistering sunburn during childhood raises the risk of developing skin cancer.
Minimizing long-term damage to the skin and its cells and the development of skin cancer includes avoiding sun exposure during the period of time when the sun's rays are strongest this is generally between 9 am and 3 or 4 pm. Wearing protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and long sleeves and long pants is also important. During sun exposure, it is key to consistently use and reapply sunscreen with a high SPF. Do not use tanning beds.
Once skin cancer has developed, treatment is tailored around a variety of factors, including the individual case, the type of skin cancer, and how much the skin cancer has grown and spread.
Treatment generally involves surgical removal of the cancerous area or skin tumor. Nearby skin may also need to be removed in order to ensure all cancer cells are gone. Surgical procedures may include slicing, freezing (cryosurgery), or burning (electrocautery) the tumor and nearby skin.
If enough skin is removed to cause disfigurement, a surgical procedure may be done to take skin from another part of the body to fill in the area. This is called a skin graft.
For malignant melanoma, local lymph nodes are tested for the presence of cancer cells to check for the spread of skin cancer. Additional surgery, chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy may be needed if skin cancer has spread beyond the skin to the lymph nodes and other parts of the body.
Treatment List for Skin Cancer
The list of treatments mentioned in various sources
for Skin Cancer
includes the following list.
Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment
or change in treatment plans.
- Biological therapy - for melanoma
- Treatment of skin cancer depends upon the type of cancer, the site of the lesion, and the extent of spread, as well as the age and other health problems of the patient. Treatments include:
Alternative Treatments for Skin Cancer
Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Skin Cancer may include:
Skin Cancer: Is the Diagnosis Correct?
The first step in getting correct treatment is
to get a correct diagnosis.
Differential diagnosis list for Skin Cancer may include:
Hidden causes of Skin Cancer may be incorrectly diagnosed:
Skin Cancer: Marketplace Products, Discounts & Offers
Products, offers and promotion categories available for Skin Cancer:
Skin Cancer: Research Doctors & Specialists
Research all specialists including ratings, affiliations, and sanctions.
Drugs and Medications used to treat Skin Cancer:
Note:You must always seek professional medical advice about any prescription drug, OTC drug, medication, treatment
or change in treatment plans.
Some of the different medications used in the treatment of Skin Cancer include:
Hospital statistics for Skin Cancer:
These medical statistics relate to hospitals, hospitalization and Skin Cancer:
- 0.49% (63,037) of hospital episodes were for malignant neoplasms of skin in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
- 99% of hospital consultations for malignant neoplasms of skin required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
- 54% of hospital episodes for malignant neoplasms of skin were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
- 46% of hospital episodes for malignant neoplasms of skin were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
- more hospital information...»
Hospitals & Medical Clinics: Skin Cancer
Research quality ratings and patient incidents/safety measures
for hospitals and medical facilities in specialties related to Skin Cancer:
Hospital & Clinic quality ratings »
Choosing the Best Treatment Hospital:
More general information, not necessarily in relation to Skin Cancer,
on hospital and medical facility performance and surgical care quality:
Medical news summaries about treatments for Skin Cancer:
The following medical news items
are relevant to treatment of Skin Cancer:
Discussion of treatments for Skin Cancer:
Skin Cancer: NWHIC (Excerpt)
Most skin cancers are curable. Your chance of recovery (prognosis) and
choice of treatment depend on the type of skin cancer you have and how far
it has spread. There are treatments for all patients with skin cancer.
Three kinds of treatments are used:
surgery (removing the cancerous skin or tumor)
chemotherapy (using drugs to kill cancer cells)
radiation therapy (using x-rays to kill cancer cells)
Biological therapy (using your body's immune system to fight cancer) is
being tested in clinical trials. Women with serious skin cancer can ask
their health care provider about this kind of treatment.
Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is highly curable when
found in its earliest stages. Surgical removal of thin melanomas can cure
the disease in most cases. The thicker the melanoma, the lower the
Actinic keratoses (AKs) can be removed before they turn into cancer.
This can be done with a type of laser treatment called photodynamic
therapy, by using chemotherapy creams, or by freezing them with liquid
(Source: excerpt from Skin Cancer: NWHIC)
Skin Care and Aging -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA (Excerpt)
In treating skin cancer, the doctorís main goal is to remove or
destroy cancer completely, leaving as small scar as possible. To
plan the best treatment for each person, the doctor considers the
type of skin cancer, its location and size, and the personís general
health and medical history. Treatment for skin cancer usually
involves some type of surgery. In some cases, radiation therapy or
chemotherapy (anticancer drugs) or a combination of these treatments
may be necessary. (Source: excerpt from Skin Care and Aging -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)
What You Need To Know About Skin Cancer: NCI (Excerpt)
In treating skin cancer, the doctor's main goal is to
remove or destroy the cancer completely with as small a scar
as possible. To plan the best treatment for each patient, the
doctor considers the location and size of the cancer, the risk
of scarring, and the person's age, general health, and medical
history. (Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Skin Cancer: NCI)
What You Need To Know About Skin Cancer: NCI (Excerpt)
Treatment for skin cancer usually involves some type of
In some cases, doctors suggest radiation
therapy or chemotherapy .
Sometimes a combination of these methods is used.
Many skin cancers can be cut from the skin quickly and
easily. In fact, the cancer is sometimes completely removed at
the time of the biopsy, and no further treatment is
Curettage and Electrodesiccation
Doctors commonly use a type of surgery called curettage .
After a local anesthetic
numbs the area, the cancer is scooped out with a curette ,
an instrument with a sharp, spoon-shaped end. The area is also
treated by electrodesiccation .
An electric current from a special machine is used to control
bleeding and kill any cancer cells remaining around the edge
of the wound. Most patients develop a flat, white scar.
Mohs' technique is a special type of surgery used for skin
cancer. Its purpose is to remove all of the cancerous tissue
and as little of the healthy tissue as possible. It is
especially helpful when the doctor is not sure of the shape
and depth of the tumor. In addition, this method is used to
remove large tumors, those in hard-to-treat places, and
cancers that have recurred. The patient is given a local
anesthetic, and the cancer is shaved off one thin layer at a
time. Each layer is checked under a microscope until the
entire tumor is removed. The degree of scarring depends on the
location and size of the treated area. This method should be
used only by doctors who are specially trained in this type of
Extreme cold may be used to treat precancerous skin
conditions, such as actinic keratosis, as well as certain
small skin cancers. In cryosurgery ,
liquid nitrogen is applied to the growth to freeze and kill
the abnormal cells. After the area thaws, the dead tissue
falls off. More than one freezing may be needed to remove the
growth completely. Cryosurgery usually does not hurt, but
patients may have pain and swelling after the area thaws. A
white scar may form in the treated area.
therapy uses a narrow beam of light to remove or destroy
cancer cells. This approach is sometimes used for cancers that
involve only the outer layer of skin.
Sometimes, especially when a large cancer is removed, a
graft is needed to close the wound and reduce the
amount of scarring. For this procedure, the doctor takes a
piece of healthy skin from another part of the body to replace
the skin that was removed.
Skin cancer responds well to radiation therapy (also called
radiotherapy), which uses high-energy rays to damage cancer
cells and stop them from growing. Doctors often use this
treatment for cancers that occur in areas that are hard to
treat with surgery. For example, radiation therapy might be
used for cancers of the eyelid, the tip of the nose, or the
ear. Several treatments may be needed to destroy all of the
cancer cells. Radiation therapy may cause a rash or make the
skin in the area dry or red. Changes in skin color and/or
texture may develop after the treatment is over and may become
more noticeable many years later.
chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs in a cream
or lotion applied to the skin. Actinic keratosis can be
treated effectively with the anticancer drug fluorouracil
(also called 5-FU). This treatment is also useful for cancers
limited to the top layer of skin. The 5-FU is applied daily
for several weeks. Intense inflammation is common during
treatment, but scars usually do not occur. (Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Skin Cancer: NCI)
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