Treatment methods include different types of surgery as well as a variety of non-surgical procedures.
The treatment goal is to completely remove the cancerous area, which can be achieved through different surgical procedures which include:
Surgery is not always the right treatment choice, such as when the patient’s health may preclude surgical options or additional treatment after surgery may be required. If it is detected early, surgery may not be needed. In such cases, one of the following treatments may be used:
Immunotherapy: If your dermatologists recommends this option, your own immune system will be used to treat the cancer. As part of immunotherapy, you will apply a prescription cream to your skin under the guidance of your dermatologist. The cream, Imiquimod, modifies the way in which your immune system responds.
Chemotherapy: For very thin, superficial skin cancers, your dermatologist may prescribe a topical chemotherapy. The medication is applied topically to the affected area and will destroy the abnormal skin cancer cells. New healthy skin will develop in the treated area once it has healed.
Photodynamic therapy: To perform this procedure, your dermatologist will apply a chemical to the affected area. After the chemical has been on your skin for a few hours, your dermatologist will have you expose that area to a special light, which destroys the cancer cells.
Radiation therapy: Radiation treatment is usually reserved for patients who have very large tumors and would be disfigured by surgery, or for patients who are unable to have surgery due to other health problems. This method typically requires up to 30 separate treatments over a period of weeks.