What is the Best Treatment For Skin Cancer?
The treatment for skin cancer will depend on the type of cancer you have and the severity of the problem. Basal cell cancer is usually found on the face only and is very treatable. Squamous cell cancer is found on those areas that are frequently exposed to the sun. It is very curable but only if caught before it has spread to other organs.
Melanoma skin cancer is the most dangerous and life threatening form of this disease not only because it can spread very quickly. If your doctor suspects melanoma, depending on where you live, he will try to arrange for a computerized screening of your skin. This involves taking a digital image of the lesion and comparing it to a database of pictures of non malignant and malignant disease. It is an extremely accurate form of diagnosis.
If the above digital screening is not available, a surgeon will remove the lesion plus an element of the healthy skin around the spot, mole or freckle. He has a delicate job as he needs to remove all of the potentially malignant tissue but at the same time doesn’t want to take too much as it may interfere with subsequent treatment. A pathologist will then examine these cells under a microscope. If the sample is malignant it will be staged depending on the thickness within the skin, whether it has ulcerated and/or spread to surrounding tissue or nodes. Stage 0 is non malignant melanoma which has as yet shown no sign of turning cancerous. Stages 3 and 4 are the most dangerous as it has already spread and is therefore much more difficult to treat.
If you have stage 3 or 4 you will be sent for a CAT scan to see if and where the secondary cancer sites are. Chemotherapy is only usually used if the cancer has spread to distant organs. It used to be thought that if melanoma skin cancer has spread to other sites it was an automatic death sentence. Thankfully this is not longer the case as treatment has improved and surgery has proved to be quite effective.
There are new treatments for skin cancer being developed all the time. If you have been diagnosed with this disease do not give up hope. A positive attitude is sometimes half the battle. Get the best help and advice you can from properly qualified oncologists who will do everything in their power to help you beat this disease.