Surgical Options For Removing Skin Cancer
Early treatment of skin cancer is very important because this type of cancer is easy to treat as long as it is caught early. Plus, when the cancer is small, it is easy to remove without taking out a lot of tissue and leaving a big scar. Skin cancer is treated by removing the cancer and a border of healthy tissue that surrounds it. Here are the types of available skin cancer surgery in most areas.
Cancer that is on the surface of the skin is the easiest to remove. Your dermatologist might use a treatment called curettage and electrodesiccation. This involves using a curette, which is a thin instrument with a loop at the end of it to scrape the top of your skin to remove the cancer. After that, an electric needle is used to kill cancer cells that are left behind. This is a quick procedure done in your dermatologist's office. You may have multiple spots treated during the same visit.
Cancer that has grown deeper into the skin must be cut out. The extent of this surgery depends on how deep the cancer has grown. In addition to cutting out the cancer, the doctor cuts away healthy tissue that surrounds it in order to remove all the cancer cells. If the cancer is deep, you may need a skin graft or other type of surgery to fill in the hole left behind. Otherwise, the hole will be stitched back together so your skin can heal. This type of cancer surgery may be given along with radiation and chemotherapy depending on the type of skin cancer and how far it has spread.
Skin Cancer In Delicate Areas
Another type of surgery can be done on delicate areas of your body, such as your face. This type of surgery allows your doctor to remove as little tissue as possible so the risk of scarring is reduced. To remove skin cancer this way, your doctor shaves off portions of it at a time rather than removing it all at once in a big scoop. Each layer that is shaved off is examined under the microscope for cancer cells. When a layer is finally reached that is free from cancer, the doctor stops the surgery. One benefit of this type of surgery is that you don't have to wait for results of a biopsy since you know as soon as the surgery is over if all the cancer has been removed. This type of surgery is very time-consuming and it's done to protect the appearance of the skin, so it isn't suitable for all types of skin cancer removal.
It is nearly impossible to tell by looking at the surface of your skin how much cancer is underneath and how deep it goes. You shouldn't think your cancer is a minor thing just because you can't see much on the surface of your skin. Instead, have suspicious growths and discolorations examined by your dermatologist so they can be removed and examined under a microscope if they look suspicious. That way, you can catch cancer early and stop it before it spreads through your body.