Skin cancer can be a terrible disease depending on the type it is and the severity and location of the disease. It is the most common form of cancer that is being diagnosed today and over 1 million Americans get it each year. Most skin cancer is highly curable if diagnosed early and treated quickly. There are three standard methods of treatment that are used in hospitals today. These hospitals have medical, radiation and surgical specialists providing excellent care to skin cancer patients. They provide the latest in treatment regimens, medical equipment, cancer-fighting drugs and pain-control programs. Physicians direct the patient’s overall care and are always available for consultation and assistance.
Skin cancer falls into two categories – melanoma and non-melanoma. Skin cancer generally starts out in the epidermis (top layer) of the skin and becomes one of three types of cancer. These three types are Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma (both non-melanoma) and Melanoma. The most dangerous and aggressive of the three types is melanoma.
Some cancer clinics are now using a technique known as Mohs surgery in which tissue is removed in thin layers and examined thoroughly under a microscope to determine if any cancerous cells are present. These same cancer clinics use other surgical techniques, chemotherapy and radiation in their fight against the disease. For most skin cancers they use curettage and electrodesiccation, cryosurgery (which is commonly known as freezing), laser beam surgery and traditional surgery.
Most skin cancer treatment can be done in a physician’s office or in a medical clinic and requires no hospital stay. Tumors that are large, being re-treated or are located on or close to the face are usually more complicated and are routinely treated using Mohs surgery. Reconstruction of the surrounding tissue is often necessary to restore normal functioning of the tumor site. This more complicated treatment option sometimes requires a hospital stay. Treatment options are determined by the tumor’s type and size, its location and depth.