Skin cancer is a disease that occurs when skin cells undergo abnormal growth. There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. The most common treatment options for skin cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, photodynamic therapy (PDT), cryotherapy, and topical treatments.
The best treatment plan will depend on the type and stage of cancer and the patient’s overall health and preferences. It is important to work with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment. Regular self-examinations and visits to a dermatologist can also help in the early detection and treatment of skin cancer.
What are the Skin Cancer Treatments?
Skin cancer is common cancer that develops in the skin cells. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Treatment for skin cancer depends on the type of cancer, its stage, and the patient’s overall health.
- Basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, is usually treated with surgery, such as excision or Mohs micrographic surgery, which removes the cancerous cells while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible. Radiotherapy and topical treatments such as creams or gels may also be used, depending on the size and location of cancer.
- Squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common type of skin cancer, is often treated with surgery, such as excision or Mohs micrographic surgery, or radiotherapy. Some topical treatments, such as creams or gels, may be used.
- Melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, is usually treated with surgery to remove the cancerous cells. This may include wide local excision, in which a wide margin of healthy tissue around the cancer is removed, or lymph node dissection, which involves removing lymph nodes that may contain cancer cells. In some cases, adjuvant therapy, such as immunotherapy or targeted therapy, may be recommended.
In advanced-stage melanoma, systemic therapy, such as immunotherapy or targeted therapy, is used. There are also new promising treatments, such as CAR-T cell therapy and oncolytic viral therapy, under clinical trials.
What are the Types of Skin Cancer Treatment?
Skin cancer treatment options vary depending on the type and stage of cancer and the patient’s overall health. Some common treatments include:
- Surgery: This is the most common treatment for skin cancer. Surgery involves removing the cancerous growth and a small margin of healthy tissue around it. There are several types of surgery, including excisional surgery, which removes cancer and a surrounding margin of healthy skin, and Mohs surgery, which removes cancer in thin layers until only cancer-free tissue remains.
- Radiation therapy: This treatment uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. It is usually used to treat skin cancers unsuitable for surgery or that have returned after surgery.
- Chemotherapy: This treatment uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It is usually used to treat advanced or metastatic skin cancer.
- Immunotherapyuses drugs to help the immune system fight cancer cells. It is used to treat advanced or metastatic skin cancer.
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT): This treatment uses a special cream or gel that makes cancer cells sensitive to light. The cream or gel is applied to cancer, and a special light is activated. The light kills the cancer cells. PDT is used to treat certain types of skin cancer and precancerous growths.
- Cryotherapy: This treatment uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and kills cancer cells. It is used to treat small, early-stage skin cancers and precancerous growths.
- Topical treatments: This treatment uses creams, gels, or other topical medications to treat skin cancer. They are most commonly used to treat basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and actinic keratoses (precancerous growths).
The best treatment plan will depend on the individual case and the patient’s overall health and preferences. It is important to work with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment. It is also important to protect yourself from the sun, to eat healthily, and to see a dermatologist regularly to detect early skin cancer. It is important to catch skin cancer early, as treatment is more likely to be successful in its early stages. This can be achieved through regular skin checks, self-examination, and awareness of the risk factors for skin cancer, such as sun exposure and a history of sunburn. People with a family history of skin cancer or who have a lot of moles, freckles, or other pigmented spots on their skin should be particularly vigilant.