There are many options available for managing skin cancer. Usually, the type of cancer, its location and size, and your prior history will help determine which procedure is best. Your age and general health are also considered.
TREATMENT METHODS INCLUDE:
- Curettage and electrodessication (removing the damaged tissue by scraping and burning with an electric needle)
- Cryosurgery (freezing the tumor, usually with liquid nitrogen)
- Excision (cutting out the tumor and suturing the wound, or closing the wound with a graft or flap from another area of the body)
- Radiation therapy (using X-ray or other radiation)
- Topical chemotherapy (applying creams that attack the cancer cells or stimulate the immune system)
- Mohs micrographic surgery (microscopically controlled excision)
Traditionally offered only at large, academic institutions, Mohs surgery is the most thorough and effective treatment for the most common forms of skin cancer. This extremely precise method allows us to remove a very thin layer of tissue and examine the removed tissue under a microscope during surgery – not after – so just the right amount of tissue is removed. We make sure to remove all the damaged tissue, but we don't remove any healthy tissue unnecessarily. That allows for not only the lowest likelihood of recurrence but also the best cosmetic outcome.
We have a Mohs fellowship-trained dermatologist right here and we are happy to make this advanced technique available here in our community, so Carilion patients don't have to travel long distances to receive the best treatments.