Learning more about common skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma, is an important step when…
From Mohs Surgery to Surgical Excision, What are the Top Skin Cancer Treatments?
With one out of every five people developing it within their lifetime, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in the United States.
And while that statistic may be worrisome, fortunately, there are many options available to effectively treat all types of skin cancer. (Not to mention, there are different skin cancer prevention strategies you can use to reduce your risk of developing it, too!)
At The Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center of Wilmington, our experienced board-certified dermatologists use five different skin cancer treatment methods to cure this common skin condition.
These methods include Mohs surgery, surgical excision, cryotherapy, curettage and electrodesiccation, and topical treatments. Learn more about these by reading our short guide below on the top skin cancer treatments.
Top Skin Cancer Treatments
At our exceptional dermatology and surgery clinic in Wilmington, Mohs micrographic surgery is one of the most effective skin cancer treatments we offer. Mohs surgery is the treatment of choice for many skin cancers (especially those located on the head and neck) as it boasts some of the highest cure rates and lowest skin cancer recurrence rates compared to other treatment methods.
Furthermore, Mohs surgery aims to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible, which reduces the amount of scarring and speeds up the recovery process.
During Mohs surgery, exceptional precision is used to remove the skin cancer layer by layer. Your Mohs surgeon removes cancerous tissue and examines the entire surgical margin with a microscope to ensure no cancerous cells are left behind.
Additionally, it’s important to understand that not all Mohs surgeons receive the same level of specialty training. It’s critical to do your research and choose a qualified, experienced Mohs surgeon for your condition.
At The Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center of Wilmington, our Mohs surgeon – Dr. Landon Stigall, MD – completed a Fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology, which means he received additional hands-on training to become highly qualified in performing this specialized procedure.
Furthermore, Dr. Stigall is one of the only Mohs surgeons in eastern North Carolina who has been specially trained to perform Mohs surgery for the treatment of melanomas.
To learn more about Mohs surgery, such as who is the right candidate for Mohs surgery and the types of cancer it is best used for, click here.
Surgical excision is another very common method of treating skin cancers. During an excision, the skin cancer is removed along with a portion of healthy skin surrounding the area (called the “margin”) with a surgical blade. This ensures all the cancer cells are completely removed and reduces the chances of the cancer spreading.
Following the surgical excision procedure, the lesion is sent off to the laboratory for further testing. Additionally, if this procedure was used to treat early-stage melanoma, your doctor may recommend taking a sampling of your lymph nodes to find out if cancer has spread.
During cryotherapy, a dermatologist uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and destroy the cancer. Unlike other treatment methods, cryotherapy does not involve any cutting, bleeding, or anesthesia.
After treatment with the cryotherapy solution, the area may form a blister or scab which then heals approximately one or more weeks later.
This skin cancer treatment is best suited for precancers, such as actinic keratosis, but may be used to treat other lesions including benign growths and, occasionally, certain skin cancers.
Curettage and Electrodesiccation
Curettage and electrodesiccation is a two-part skin cancer treatment procedure that involves a dermatologist scraping off the cancerous lesion with a special tool called a curette.
Following curettage, your dermatologist will use electrodesiccation to cauterize the area with heat, destroying any remaining cancer cells.
This is a common nonsurgical option that involves the use of prescription topical creams to treat actinic keratosis or superficial, low-risk BCCs and SCCs.
Topical skin cancer treatments work a bit differently; some stimulate the body’s immune system to aid it in fighting off cancer, while others cause the lesion to swell, crust over, and slough off. You and your dermatologist will work together to determine which topical skin cancer treatment is best for your unique situation.
Top Skin Cancer Treatments in Wilmington, NC
Are you interested in learning more about skin cancer treatments? Or have you noticed a suspicious mole on your body and need to consult with a professional dermatologist?
The exceptional team of board-certified dermatologists at The Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center of Wilmington are here to help! Schedule an appointment online or get in touch by calling (910) 782-0028.
If you’re ready to schedule your skin cancer evaluation or treatment, get in touch with the Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center of Wilmington. Call us at (910) 782-0028 to schedule a skin consultation.