Treatment of skin cancers

The varying treatment options

There are many ways to treat skin cancer and treatment options will largely depend on the type of cancer. Surgery, however, seems to be the standard option but it’s certainly not the only solution. Other possible options include superficial radiotherapy (our treatment), cryotherapy (freezing), and treatment via creams. If you’re seeking alternative therapies, please ensure you research your options and speak to your health care professional in detail. Alternative treatments such as Black Salve are never recommended due to the often aggressive outcome.


Surgery

Surgery is a quick and effective option for skin cancer, by way of confirming the type and depth of the cancer, and offering immediate results.

Surgery is mandatory in the treatment of melanoma and should be considered for any complicated or advanced skin cancers. It is, however, associated with stitches and potential side effects such as pain, infection and scarring. Considering this, sometimes surgery is not the best choice for early detected skin cancers, particularly in cosmetically sensitive areas like the face or when other medical issues have been experienced by the patient.

If you have been prescribed surgery but have concerns, it’s always worth getting a second opinion, just to ensure you’re doing what is best for you.


Superficial  radiotherapy

Superficial radiotherapy is what we offer here at Just Skin. It’s a type of X-ray therapy that only treats the affected area of the skin. This treatment has the advantage of being targeted therapy, with high cure rates and minimal scarring. It is best used for Squamous Cell Cancer (SCC), Basal Cell Cancer (BCC), other non-melanoma skin malignancies and non-cancerous scarring of the skin known as keloids. For more information see our treatment page.


Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is freezing the affected skin with liquid nitrogen. This treatment destroys skin cancers with a high success rate. The limitation of this treatment include the depth freezing can achieve and it can also be quite painful.


Creams

Efudix Cream

Often termed ‘Chemo Cream’, this cream does contain a chemotherapy agent. It works by damaging the cancers DNA and killing off the abnormal cells. It should be used for early, precancerous skin conditions and to be effective, is usually rubbed onto the affected skin over a 3 – 4 week period. It can typically cause skin rashes and irritations that generally settle over a few weeks, once the treatment is complete. It’s easy to apply but can poorly target the affected area, with normal areas of the skin receiving more than their fair share as well.

 

Aldara Cream

Aldara is also a cream and works by stimulating an immune response in the skin. It is used for the treatment of Actinic Keratosis (precancerous condition in sun damaged skin) and early Basal Cell Cancers (BCC). It should be applied daily for up to 6 weeks and can eliminate up to 90% of early BCC.

Aldara treatment requires regular application and needs to be left on for up to 8 hours. It can result in a skin reaction as well as generalised side effects such as fatigue.

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