There are a wide variety of treatment options available depending on the type of skin cancer that a patient has developed and the extent to which it has spread. Treatment options are also influenced by a patient’s gender, general health, personal preference and the outlook for the disease.
The primary skin cancer treatment options for superficial basal and squamous cell cancers are chemotherapy/electrochemotherapy, photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy.
Surgery is the most common treatment route and is used in 90% of all skin cancer cases, particularly cryosurgery (freezing), laser therapy, Mohs micrographic surgery and simple excision.
Radiation therapy involves the use of radiation to shrink tumors and kill cancer skills.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells and is sometimes used in conjunction with electrical pulses.
Photodynamic therapy involves the use of certain types of light and chemicals to kill cancer cells.
Finally, immunotherapy boosts the patient’s immune system in the hope that the body’s natural defenses will hinder the growth of the cancer.
There are many small changes that everyone, and especially those of us in Southern California, can make to minimize the chances of developing skin cancer. The most important skin cancer prevention method to put into practice is to keep one’s body as protected from prolonged skin exposure as possible. Individuals who spend a great deal of time outdoors due to their profession or recreational interests are advised to dress appropriately and use plenty of suntan lotion, particularly on the face, head, neck and arms. The use of solar tanning beds increases one’s likelihood of developing skin cancer, so we recommend that these services be avoided.