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Skin Cancer Treatment

Skin Cancer Treatment

 Our skin is the primarily protective system that has to withstand environmental attacks and respond to changes that take place in the body. Not that surprisingly, skin cancer is reported to be the most commonly occurring cancer type worldwide. The good news is than not every abnormal skin growth is cancerous and even in case of malignant changes the success rates are quite high in fighting off the disease. As it is usually the case, regular screening and early skin cancer treatment are your major allies.

Types of Skin Cancer

Melanoma – as the name suggests, it is the mutation of the cells that make up melanin, the substance in your skin responsible for pigmentation. It is the deadliest, but at the same time the least frequent variation of skin cancer. Melanoma is quite easy to diagnose.
How do you know you have melanoma?skin-cancer-treatment_Small
-New mole appears
-Mole size, shape, color changes.
-Moles grow bigger, have an asymmetrical shape and have several colors.
-Sometimes they may bleed.
Basal cell carcinoma – This is the most common skin cancer and also the less problematic to handle, when diagnosed early. The main distinguishing characteristic is the appearance of unexplained flesh-colored bumps in the skin.
Squamous cell carcinoma – It usually appears in the form of red patches that are scaly and peeling off. The location is characteristically the head, especially closer to cavities like the month, nose and the ears.

Skin Cancer Treatment

Skin cancer treatment always aims to stop cancer from spreading beyond the skin to deeper tissues and bones. Skin cancer removal is the basic line of action to eliminate as much cancerous tissue from the body as possible.
Before selecting the most suitable skin cancer treatment plan, a thorough diagnosis and staging procedure (biopsy, blood test) must take place to determine the type of skin cancer you have, how much tissue should be removed and if there is a need for further drug treatment or radiation therapy.

Skin cancer treatment options abound and in high percentage they bring positive outcomes.

Skin Cancer Surgery

Skin cancer removal by surgery usually works well with all types of cancer. If it involves smaller areas, it can be done under local anesthesia.
The basic procedure implies the surgical incision of the cancer along with some healthy looking tissue underneath, as sometimes cancerous cells can be found spread further.

Another variation of the incision, called the Mohs method ,only removes the visible part of the cancer and then systematically progresses layer by layer. When one layer of tissue is removed, it is examined microscopically. If cancerous cells are detected, another thin layer is removed and the process continues until the area is cleaned from cancer. It is a more time consuming process, but recurrence rates can be significantly diminished.

Skin cancer removal with a scraping technique called curettage is yet another surgical option. The benefit of this means is that after scraping out the cancer, the doctor will use a fine electric needle to burn the remaining cancer cells. The procedure often needs repeated sessions till complete healing is achieved.

Non-surgical Skin Cancer Treatment Options

Sometimes the cancer is at a place where removal becomes problematic or the complete removal is not possible. In these cases skin cancer treatment can be done with
drugs, radiation, freezing and light therapies.

Drugs – Chemotherapy can be topical or internal depending on how deep the cancer has spread. Topically applied chemotherapy drugs may kill cancer in the upper surfaces. Patients are usually intimidated from the adverse side-effects, but these symptoms usually go away once the therapy is finished.
Immunotherapy always builds on the patient’s immune system to fight off the cancer. In skin cancer treatment immunotherapy drugs are available in the form of cream.

Skin cancer treatment with radiation is recommended for elderly patients with extended cancer. Exposure to radiation always poses a health risk, but in this case destroying cancer cells becomes a life-saving priority.

Freezing or cryosurgery of the cancer can be used for small to middle-size cancer.
Light therapy is a combination of a chemical agent applied on the cancer and a special light which activates the agent to eliminate the cancerous growth.