If you go to your dermatologist for a regular skin check and assessment or even for an issue with a mole or other growth on your skin, you likely do not expect to walk away with a diagnosis of skin cancer. However, skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer diagnosed in the United States every year. Before you panic and worry about what you should have done to prevent your skin cancer, try to shift your focus to treating and getting rid of the skin cancer cells in your body. Get to know some of the treatments available for skin cancer so that you can discuss them thoughtfully with your dermatologist and oncologist to develop a course of treatment that works best for you.
Skin Cancer Surgery
Generally speaking, skin cancer surgery is the first step in treating any type of skin cancer. There are a few exceptions to this rule, though. If a skin cancer growth is too large to be removed because the surgical site would not heal on its own or the cancer has metastasized into other areas of the body, surgery may not be an option or may need to come later in the treatment process.
However, in most skin cancer cases, your dermatologist will opt to remove the growth, mole, or other skin blemish that has been found to be cancerous. There are a few different ways to go about the surgical process. The traditional method of using a scalpel to cut out the affected tissue is one possibility. Cryosurgery, which uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and remove the affected tissue, is another. On the opposite end of the spectrum, laser surgery which uses heated light energy can also be employed to remove skin cancer lesions with absolute precision. Contact a company like Countryside Dermatology & Laser Center if you think surgery is the right treatment option for you.
Another common treatment option for skin cancer is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy, a form of cancer treatment that uses medications to destroy rapidly growing and replicating cells in the body (which cancer cells are), can be administered in several ways for skin cancer.
Oftentimes, it is applied directly to the surface of the skin in the form of creams or ointments. This localizes the chemotherapy and can prevent some of the side effects associated with systemic chemotherapy. The idea is to get those chemo medications into the skin cells around the site of the tumor to ensure that no undetectable traces of cancer remain and begin to grow again inside the body. Chemotherapy can also be administered through oral pill medications or intravenously in a hospital setting.
Radiation therapy is a treatment that uses a form of x-rays to target and destroy cancer cells. This form of treatment is often done in a doctor's office over the course of several sessions in which the radiation is essentially beamed into specific areas of the body. Doctors and researchers are looking to further improve upon this already effective treatment option for skin cancer by creating personalized versions of radiation therapy as well. The current research is specific to melanoma, but if successful, it could be applicable to other skin cancers and general cancers in the future.
Now that you know more about treating your skin cancer, you can begin the treatment process and get your body cancer-free as soon as possible.
During my first pregnancy, I spent a lot of time pushing pillows behind my back trying to find comfort. As the size of the baby grew, so did my discomfort. By the time she was born, I was more than ready to give birth. When I found out I was pregnant again, I was determined that I would not suffer through the same discomforts. I started researching ways to ease the symptoms of pregnancy, including back pain. I created this blog to help other expectant moms find remedies to deal with those symptoms that can be emotionally and physically draining.