Diagnosing cancer usually requires a skin biopsy. A small piece of skin is removed for examination under a microscope and evaluated with other tests. The treatment plan is based on several factors:
- The type of cancer (basal cell, squamous cell, melanoma, or other)
- The size of the cancer—treatment that may be effective for small cancers may not be optimal for larger cancers
- The extent of the cancer (localized to one area vs. spreading to surrounding tissues)
- The location of the cancer (face vs. arm, for instance)
- The number of lesions
- Patient past history and family history of skin cancers
In general, the treatment plan is based on the risk of the cancer spreading to another location or growing again (recurring) in the same location. Cancers that are likely to spread or recur are treated more aggressively.
Corederm provides several dermatological procedures to remove skin cancers.
- Cryotherapy—A small amount of liquid nitrogen is used to “freeze” away the lesion. This may be used in combination with other topical medications, such as imiquimod.
- Curettage-electrodessication—The tumor is scraped off using a sharp-edged device called a curette. The surrounding skin in then cauterized (heated) to prevent bleeding and further remove the tumor.
- Excision—The tumor is surgically removed along with a small portion of surrounding skin. This usually requires stitches to control bleeding and close the wound.
- Mohs surgery—This specialized surgery removes a tumor in stages.
Radiation and chemotherapy may be recommended in cases when the cancer has spread or when other medical conditions prevent