Skin cancer treatment options

Skin cancer treatment options

  • For centuries surgery is the standard for treating skin cancer. Surgery is still the GOLD standard today.
  • Freezing (cryotherapy, see below )
  • Scraping ( curettage and cautery. in the USA it’s called curettage and electrodesication, see below)
  • Radiotherapy
  • Topical therapy with efudix, solaraze, aldara,picato.
  • Day light photo dynamic therapy (PDT) for flat but numerous sun-spots. If you don’t like the above the above treatment. We can give you Sun light therapy. This is good for small flat sunspots. You will look red and scaly for a week. It’s simple and a whole lot cheaper than the doctor administered red light PDT

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6 months post curettage. Much better result than most heroic surgery
Curettage and cautery, C&C, also known as electrodesiccation and curettage or  electrosurgery is a very effective technique for quickly removing low grade skin cancer. However, it is very operator dependent. 98% cure if done correctly. Here a squamous cell carcinoma horn is curreted and cauterized . Wound immediately after cc, at 2 wks, then at ~ 6 months. The resultant white scar can be very obvious on tanned skin.

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Cryotherapy complication
Cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen  is the most frequently used method to treat pre-malignant lesions at our clinic. It is quick, simple and effective, BUT, it must be done correctly. The sprayed area will be swollen, blistered, weepy then crusty. Two weeks later, the lesions will  peel off leaving behind pink macules . The treated area of  skin sill be slightly paler than the surrounding skin.  Cryotherapy is only good for occasional sunspots . For numerous sunspots we prefer “ field therapy “

Cryotherapy may cause massive blisters to form. This will usually occur in patients whose skin is very thin and/or taking blood thinners, e.g. asprin, warfarin, etc…You may deflate these large blisters with a large needle but, don’t peel  the skin off. Intact skin acts as an excellent biological dressing. WARNING. It is best not to get your skin sprayed before any important photo events ! E.g. parties, unions, weddings etc…

Field therapy with Chemical peel, Efudix, Aldara  , Picato, light therapy, Ala…etc should be considered if you have numerous premalignant spots. Treatment is simple. Only the cancerous lesions will be affected. The more pre-cancerous lesions you have the more spotty you will look during  the treatment period.