If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer or if you have multiple precancerous lesions on your skin, then your dermatologist can schedule skin cancer treatments for you. Many treatments are surgical ones, and there are some different types that you should know about. Keep reading to learn about a few of them and what they entail.
A Mohs surgical treatment for skin cancer involves the total and complete removal of the skin cancer lesion. This is meant to completely eradicate the cancer from the skin. It is possible if the cancer has been graded as precancerous or stage one. Some stage two and three cancers can also be completely excised, but oftentimes you will need to receive some radiation treatments in addition to the removal. Also, melanoma is the type of cancer that is typically removed, but some other types of cancer can be excised, depending on their invasiveness.
Mohs surgeries are most often used by dermatologists and oncologists, and the cancer is removed with the use of a scalpel. The scalpel is used to remove layers of the skin to ensure that all cancerous cells are released along with a thin layer of healthy cells that sit around the perimeter of the growth.
During the surgery, you will likely be given a local anesthetic, meaning that you will be awake while the cancer is removed. The main growth is removed first and then the surgeon will go a bit deeper and wider around the area. When the tissue is removed, it is inspected under a microscope for signs of abnormalities, and the doctor will continue removing tissue until only healthy and normal cells are seen on inspection.
Complete Excisional Surgery
Mohs surgeries take some time to complete since the dermatologist will need to continually look at cells while you wait. Additionally, the procedure may not be the best option for some people. This is especially true if the growth is quite deep. These types of cancer are often removed using an excisional technique. A large and wide border or tissue is removed around the growth itself. The border is a planned area around the growth that is determined before the surgery.
The excisional operation may require general anesthesia due to the depth of the tissue removal. And, depending on the location of the removal, plastic surgery techniques may be used to help restore the removal area.
Once the excisional operation is completed, you will likely need to go through some radiation. This helps to ensure that any cancerous cells that were missed during the procedure cannot proliferate into a new growth.