Treatments for Precancerous Lesions
Suspicious areas on the skin that may be related to sun damage (sometimes referred to as actinic keratosis) and very superficial cancer growths on the top layer of your skin may be treated with:
Liquid nitrogen spray freezes the suspicious area. A blister may form and fall off. New skin grows in its place.
Topical Chemotherapy Cream
Multiple applications of cream to the suspicious area destroy superficial cancer cells over time.
A liquid drug is applied to the affected area and makes it sensitive to light. After an extended period of time, the area is targeted by a special light source, which removes the suspicious lesion.
A laser beam destroys the suspicious area and surrounding skin.
Treatments for Cancerous Lesions
Your doctor will develop a treatment plan for your skin cancer based on its location, how deeply it has penetrated the surface of your skin, and whether it has spread. Treatment options for basal, squamous cell, and Merkel cell carcinoma include:
Electrodesiccation and Curettage (ED&C)
A knifelike instrument, called a curette, is used to scrape away the layers of small cancerous lesions. An electric needle is then used to cauterize the wound. This stops the bleeding, seals the area, and destroys any remaining cancer cells.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery
This treatment is critical for high-risk skin cancers, especially on the head and neck. Layers of basal cell or squamous cell cancers are surgically removed and examined under a microscope to ensure no cancerous cells remain.
X-rays destroy cancer cells or shrink tumors. This treatment may be used in select cases or to treat advanced basal-cell cancers.
Skin Grafting and Reconstructive Surgery
A skin graft from another part of your body is used to cover wounds after total removal of skin cancer. The grafting and reconstructive surgery promotes healing, restores the skin’s appearance and function, and minimizes the long-term impact of skin cancer surgery.
Experienced Skin Cancer Care
Expertise in Advanced Skin Cancers
While it’s rare for non-melanoma skin cancers to spread, it can happen, especially if they are not caught early. In addition, these cancers often grow locally and can damage structures on the face, including the nose and ears. Treating them effectively is crucial to ensuring the best possible outcome. We choose the best medical or surgical treatments for early and advanced skin cancers to ensure you receive the most effective care for your condition.
Targeted Therapy and Immunotherapy
For more advanced non-melanoma skin cancers, our team of medical oncologists can use various forms of immunotherapy and targeted therapy based on the genetic profiling of your cancer.
A Team Approach to Care
Your team may include medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists; otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat doctors); dermatopathologists (specialists who look at skin diseases at a cellular level); plastic surgeons; ophthalmologists; and radiologists, when their expertise is needed to develop the most effective treatment plan for you.
Expertise in Head and Neck Skin Cancer
Our experienced ear, nose, and throat surgeons are specially trained in removing skin cancers that involve the head and neck. Their expertise in working exclusively on the head and neck increases the likelihood that you will have positive outcomes for these complicated procedures.
Support for You and Your Family
Our comprehensive support services help you minimize the side effects of cancer treatment and help you and your family cope with the emotional and psychological effects of diagnosis and treatment. View all of our cancer support groups in our event calendar