Treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer is usually successful, with more than 90% of patients recovering from the disease following treatment. The main skin cancer treatment is surgery, but treatment is recommended on an individual basis, considering how the cancer has developed and the type of cancer you have.
Surgical excision treatment for skin cancer involves cutting out the cancer along with a margin of healthy tissue to ensure the cancerous cells are completely removed. It can leave scaring but when done in combination with a skin graft this can be minimised.
- Curettage and electrocautery
This procedure can only be used for the treatment of skin cancer where the cancer is small. It’s similar to surgical excision but uses an electric needle to remove the skin around the cancer area.
Using freezing technology, it is possible to use cold treatment for skin cancer during the early stages of the disease, effectively freezing the cancer and causing that area of the skin to scab and eventually fall off.
- Mohs micrographic surgery
If doctors feel that there is a high chance of the non-melanoma skin cancer spreading or if it’s an area where they want to remove as little skin as possible, Mohs micrographic surgery may be considered. It removes the tumour in smaller stages, reducing the risk of scarring and minimising the removal of healthy tissue while treating skin cancer by testing each bit of the tissue that has been removed.
In some cases chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy, imiquimod cream, radiotherapy or electrotherapy may be recommended as possible alternatives, such as when surgery is not an option or has been unsuccessful.