If you've been diagnosed with skin cancer, you may be wondering which type of treatment is best for you. Your West Palm Beach, FL, dermatologists, Drs. Barry Kuttner and Kathleen Herne and physician assistant Kristen Hafner can help you evaluate your skin cancer treatment options.
Common skin cancer options
Skin cancer treatment varies depending on the type and stage of cancer but may include one or more of these methods:
- Topical Medication: Topical medication may be a good option if cancer hasn't penetrated the deeper layers of the skin. The medication prompts your body to produce a natural chemical that kills skin cancer cells. You'll put the medication on your skin every day for up to six weeks.
- Freezing: Freezing, formally called cryosurgery, is often used to remove pre-cancerous or cancerous growths. After liquid nitrogen is sprayed on the area, the treated skin blisters, crusts over, and soon falls off.
- Curettage and Electrodesiccation: During this quick procedure, your West Palm Beach skin doctor scrapes off the cancerous cells, then uses an electrocautery needle to slow bleeding and kill any remaining cancer cells.
- Surgical Excision: Your dermatologist uses a scalpel to remove cancerous cells and a margin of healthy cells around them, then closes the wound with stitches. You may need another surgery after the first one if a biopsy reveals that cancerous cells are still present.
- Mohs Micrographic Surgery: Mohs micrographic surgery is a less invasive alternative to surgical excision. During the surgery, your dermatologist removes a single layer of skin and examines it under a microscope. If cancerous cells are present, another layer of skin is removed. The process continues until no cancerous cells remain. Mohs surgery reduces scarring and causes less damage to the healthy skin surrounding the skin cancer.
- Radiation Therapy: Radiation Therapy may be recommended if you have a large tumor, the location of the skin cancer makes it difficult to remove, or you can't have surgery for health reasons. Radiation therapy may be combined with surgery in some cases.
Prompt skin cancer treatment will help you protect your health. Call your dermatologists in West Palm Beach, FL, Drs. Barry Kuttner and Kathleen Herne, or physician assistant Kristen Hafner, at (561) 964-6664 to schedule your appointment.