Most skin cancers begin in the upper layer of the skin and grow primarily on sun exposed areas. Most skin cancers appear as crusty areas, ulcerations, red scaly growths or changing moles. Any abnormal appearing mole or growth on the skin can be removed with a skin biopsy.
Any abnormal appearing skin mole or growth can be removed with a skin biopsy. It is a simple procedure that allows pathological examination and precise diagnosis of skin lesions.
Treatments of skin cancer depends on location, type, and size. There are several treatment options available, including:
Excision of skin cancer
Most skin cancers are removed in the office under local anesthesia (numbs only the area to be treated).
Excision is a minimally invasive skin surgery that requires little down time. Dr. Marriott uses a surgical instrument to cut out the skin cancer or suspicious growth.
Curettage and Electrodesication.
First scraping of cancerous lesion is performed with a curette. Later an electrosurgical device is used to denature the dermis. This process is repeated until the layers appear cancer free.
Some skin cancers especially superficial or small skin cancers can be treated with topical anticancer drugs applied to the skin. This treatment is done by the patient at home and usually is not as effective as surgery and radiation.
When a skin cancer is difficult to treat with surgery, radiation therapy can be used. It requires multiple treatment sessions and provides satisfactory cure rates without the need to cut the skin.
This type of skin cancer surgery is performed in office and has high cure rates, however it’s more time consuming and costly. During Mohs surgery, the visible tumor and surrounding tissue is removed with a scalpel, frozen and examined under the microscope. This process is repeated until the area is free of cancer. This type of treatment is usually used for recurrent, larger cancers and tumors located in cosmetically sensitive areas.