The largest organ in the body is the skin, which protects the body from infection, sunlight, heat, and harm. It also aids in synthesising vitamin D, stores water and fat and regulates body temperature. Meanwhile, skin cancer can appear anywhere on the body, but it is most typically present in people exposed to sunlight on their neck, arms, hands, and face. Squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma are the two most prevalent forms, and actinic keratosis is a skin disease that can progress to squamous cell carcinoma. However, more severe skin malignancies, such as melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma, sometimes necessitate more intensive therapies, such as skin cancer surgery, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy. Here, individual layers of skin are removed and studied until no cancer cells are discovered. And the following are some of the most effective treatment options:
1 – Surgery
Surgery for skin cancer is a widespread treatment, and for most individuals, it is all that is required to be skin cancer-free. Squamous and basal cell skin tumours are treated with minimal surgery. The afflicted area is entirely removed using a local anesthetic. However, doctors use different approaches depending on the size, type, location, and stage of cancer.
General anesthesia may be necessary for a more extensive cancer, and doctors may need a skin graft if the tumour covers a significant area. Doctors will sew it in place over the wound and facilitate blood supply. And if there is a chance that cancer will spread to the lymph nodes, the doctor will also remove these.
2 – Radiotherapy
If surgery isn’t an option for the patient (due to age or another health concern), or if cancer is discovered in a difficult-to-operate-on region, radiotherapy is employed. It is used after surgery (adjuvant therapy) in some patients to prevent cancer in the future.
This approach can also treat cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes and relieve the symptoms of advanced cancer that has migrated to other sections of the body.
3 – Chemotherapy
Chemo injections, pills, and lotions are only utilised in rare cases of skin cancer. Actinic keratosis and solar cancers (cancers that only affect the top layer of the skin) are treated with chemo cream.
Injections and pills help treat advanced skin cancer and soothe the symptoms of malignancies that doctors cannot cure.
4 – Immunotherapy
Interferon is used to treat squamous cell malignancies in the mouth, nose, or inside the neck and head by activating the immune system to recognise and attack cancer cells. Aldara (Imiquimod cream) is a novel immunotherapy treatment for actinic keratosis and basal cell cancer. This treatment activates the body’s natural defence/immune system, allowing cancer cells to release substances like interferon.
5 – Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
It is a new non-surgical option that exposes the damaged area to a specific type of light that destroys cancer cells. This approach effectively treats solar keratosis, basal cell skin cancer, and other skin conditions. In addition, when compared to surgery, the treated area appears better after PDT, implying a better cosmetic outcome.
The majority of skin malignancies are treated with surgery. A dermatologist or other trained clinician may perform an outpatient procedure using a local anesthetic for patients having basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas. And while you wait, the procedure is performed in stages, including lab work. As such, skin cancer surgery is the best treatment. This is because, while protecting healthy tissue and providing the smallest scar possible, the cure percentage is maximised here.