Some people are more predisposed to contracting skin cancer due to their complexion or genetics. However, anyone can develop skin cancer. You can take preventative measures to reduce your risk by staying out of the sun, especially during peak sunlight hours, and regularly applying sunscreen. Ideally, you should see a dermatologist for a checkup once a year. At this checkup, your doctor will have you disrobe and thoroughly examine your body for suspicious moles that may be cancerous.
If questionable lesions are found, your dermatologist will perform a biopsy so the lesion can be tested for cancer. If the test comes back positive, you will need to take additional steps to get rid of the cancer. Here are three possible skin cancer treatments that your dermatologist may offer you:
1. Excision Surgery
Excision surgery is often a preferred method for dealing with skin cancer. If your skin cancer is localized to one area and has not traveled into any other parts of your body, this surgery may be enough to resolve your cancer. Dermatologists perform traditional excision surgery by removing the entire cancerous lesion at once. This surgery is usually performed general anesthesia, using injections to numb the site before the operation.
2. Mohs Surgery
Mohs surgery is a specialized type of excision surgery that is performed a little differently; instead of removing the cancerous lesion all at once, layers of skin are removed gradually. These layers of skin are biopsied during the surgery itself in order to check for cancerous cells. Mohs surgery allows your doctor to preserve as much healthy skin as possible, which can lead to reduced scarring. Since the test is conducted at the same time as the operation, you are unlikely to need a second excision surgery to follow up on Mohs surgery.
If your skin cancer is very small and has not reached more advanced stages, your doctor may choose to treat it with cryosurgery. During cryosurgery, your dermatologist will use liquid nitrogen to freeze the cancerous lesion. Liquid nitrogen is extremely cold, which means it will cause severe tissue damage when applied to your skin. This makes it very useful for treating skin cancer. After your cryosurgery, the treated skin cells will die and eventually fall off on their own, taking the cancer with them.
Don't hesitate to seek treatment for your skin cancer. Early detection and treatment increases the likelihood of a good outcome. Your dermatologist will help you eradicate skin cancer so you can get back to living a healthy and happy lifestyle.