Treatment options for skin cancer depend on the type, size, location and extent of the skin cancer. Certain skin cancers on the face or of a large size skin may require Mohs surgery and multidisciplinary care.
Treatment options at the UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center:
- Cryotherapy or freezing lesions with liquid nitrogen: Often used to destroy small precancerous lesions.
- Electrodesiccation and curettage: Used for superficial skin cancers. The doctor will scrape away cancer cells using a curette and use an electric needle to destroy cancer cells.
- Excisional surgery: Surgical removal of the tumor and a margin. The margin of tissue will depend on the type and extent of the skin cancer.
- Mohs surgery: A surgery that is used for skin cancers that need to be removed from areas such as the face or digits, where the sparing of the normal skin is imperative. This procedure allows the skin cancer to be removed without taking an excessive amount of surrounding normal tissue. Mohs surgery allows for excellent curative rates as 100 percent of the margin is evaluated. This technique is ideal for larger, recurrent or more aggressive tumors.
- Blu-U photodynamic therapy: Uses a topical medicine that turns pre-cancer cells sensitive to light.
- Chemotherapy, topical and systemic, and biologic therapies: A variety of topical medications, such as 5 fluorouracil (Efudex, Carac), and systemic medications that can be used to destroy precancerous cells.
- Radiation therapy: Used for patients in whom surgery is not the best option as well as for adjuvant treatment.
If multidisciplinary care is required, it is coordinated among subspecialty experts including:
- Medical and Surgical Oncology
- Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT)
- Plastic Surgery
- Nuclear Medicine
- Radiation Oncology