Skin Cancer Treatment
A skin cancer diagnosis can understandably be very scary for anyone. At this point, understanding your treatment options and the choices you have to make can seem daunting. At Knoxville Center for Dermatology & Plastic Surgery, our goal is to answer any questions you may have and to find a treatment that is right for you. We’re here to walk with you every step of your treatment process. Our board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Carley Fowler, specializes in skin cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. She’ll be able to work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan based on your situation and type of skin cancer.
If found and treated early, skin cancer has a very high survival rate. In fact, the five-year survival rate for early detection of melanoma is 99% in the US. The key to a positive prognosis is treating skin cancer as early as possible. There are many different treatment options depending on the type of skin cancer you have.
Skin Cancer Types and Treatments
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
BCC is the most common and least aggressive type of skin cancer. It is important to treat any instances of BCC early to prevent any additional growth of the tumor, which can make it more difficult to treat. If caught early, and not on the face, oftentimes BCC can be treated with a “scrape and burn procedure” called Electrodesiccation and Curettage. Excisional surgery is another type of treatment that involves the doctor cutting out the tumor and surrounding tissue. If the skin cancer is near the eye, lip, nose, or ear, oftentimes a special type of excisional surgery called Mohs surgery is indicated. Other common treatment options include topical therapy, cryosurgery, laser surgery, and radiation. For early cases of BCC, most treatments can be completed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
SCC is the second most common type of skin cancer. If treated early, SCC has a low likelihood of spreading to other parts of the body; however, it does tend to spread to other parts of the body more often than BCC. Possible treatment options for SCC include Electrodesiccation and Curettage (scrape & burn), surgical excision, Mohs Surgery, topical medication, radiation, and/or chemotherapy.
Melanoma is one of the more dangerous forms of skin cancer that occurs when the pigment-producing skin cells (melanocytes) become cancerous. The most common forms of treatment for melanoma include surgical removal of the tumor, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation. It’s important to know the possible risks and potential side effects of each of these treatment plans, so be sure to discuss them with your doctor in detail.