There are three major types of skin cancer: basal cell cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Each of these skin cancers is primarily caused by too much exposure to the sun, but genetics may also play a role in increasing your risk for skin cancer.
Skin diseases and cancers are most effectively diagnosed through a biopsy that can be performed in our office and sent to a specialist or lab. For early-stage skin cancers, a biopsy or the surgical removal of the affected area can stop cancer from spreading. Depending on the progression of the cancer, there are several options when treating skin cancer including:
- Creams: If caught early enough, certain skin cancers can be treated with medicated creams and ointments that can be applied at home or in our office.
- Excision: Excisions cut out the tumor and affected area to make sure the cancer is entirely removed from your body. This procedure can be done in our office with the use of numbing cream or local anesthetic.
- Cryosurgery: This procedure is similar to wart removal where we apply liquid nitrogen to the affected area to freeze the tissue, causing the cancer cells to die.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is used to destroy cancer cells and can be administered either through intravenous therapy (IV) or in oral pill form.
- Radiation therapy: Uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells or shrink the size of tumors.
- Targeted therapy: Medication that targets and kills the cancer’s genes, proteins, and the tissues that contribute to cancer’s growth.
The earlier you detect skin diseases or potential skin cancers, the more treatment options and higher success rates you will have. For more information on melanomas or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at (907) 865-8455.