Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers
If you are diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer, which make up the vast majority of skin cancers, your board-certified dermatologist will design a treatment plan specifically designed for you. Treatment options include:
Mohs surgery is the most effective treatment for the most common non-melanoma skin cancer such as basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. The Mohs procedure involves surgically removing skin cancer layer by layer and examining the tissue under a microscope until healthy, cancer-free tissue around the tumour is reached (called clear margins).
Each Forefront Dermatology Mohs surgeon is specially trained as a cancer surgeon, pathologist, and reconstructive surgeon and this results in Mohs surgery having the highest success rate of all skin cancer treatments – up to 99 percent.
Because of Mohs surgery high success rate, most patients require only a single surgery.
Superficial Radiation Therapy
This procedure uses highly advanced technology to destroy cancer cells or to prevent them from growing. This type of treatment typically requires treatments three days a week for a month. Similar to excision, this procedure radiates the surrounding skin to help ensure the complete removal of the cancer. Skin will heal with minimal to no scarring. Radiation therapy is generally reserved for patients who cannot undergo surgery or the tumor is too extensive for surgery.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
A chemical agent that reacts to light is applied to the growths and absorbed by the abnormal cells. Hours later, those medicated areas are activated by a strong light and the treatment selectively destroys abnormal cells while causing minimal damage to normal tissue. This treatment is best for pre-cancerous and some types of superficial skin cancers.
Standard Excision is the removal of a skin cancer along with some of the healthy skin tissue around it (margin). For this procedure, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area. After the cancerous area is removed, the incision is closed with stitches. If the incision is large, sometimes a skin graft or flap is required. Reconstructive surgery may be needed if the excision surgery creates a scar.
Liquid nitrogen is applied to the growth with a spray device or cotton-tipped applicator. This freezes the tissue without requiring any cutting. This treatment is usually for pre-cancerous lesions and for the very earliest most superficial skin-cancer lesions. This treatment will result in some short-term blistering, and occasionally, long-term permanent discoloration leaving the skin white.
Scraping and Burning
This technique is usually reserved for small lesions generally not on the face.
Local anesthesia is administered, the growth is gently scraped off with a tool with a sharp, ring-shaped tip, and then the tumor site is burned with a small needle.