Common Methods of Treating Skin Cancer

As the sun’s rays get more damaged and people become more educated the presence of skin cancer is on the rise. The bad news is that more people suffer from skin cancer than ever, but the good news is that people are seeking treatment earlier. This is good because the earlier skin cancer is caught the more treatable it is. In fact, skin cancer in most cases is not something to be concerned about when it is caught early, which is why it is vital that you have a full body scan with a dermatologist on a regular basis. If you have already been diagnosed however, you may be concerned about treatment. Here are a few of the most common skin cancer treatment methods.

Excisional Surgery

This type of treatment is less invasive then it may sound, and seldom requires any anesthetic or painkiller. The base area around a growth or suspected area of concern is removed using a scalpel along with a border of unaffected skin. The tissue is then sent to the lab to confirm cancer or to confirm that all cancer has been removed if it is a known growth. If the specimen shows that there is still cancer present then another excision may be done at a later rate. This is one of the most common Littleton CO treating skin cancer methods because it has a 97% efficacy rate for most early cancers.

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Similar to the above is Mohs Micrographic surgery, but the main difference is that it is much more detailed. A scalpel is used by a surgeon or dermatologist to remove the tumor and a very small amount of tissue that is surrounding the growth. While the patient waits the layer is mapped, stained, and sectioned off. This allows the lab to check it out to see if the cancer is still there in the tissue, if it is then the surgery is repeated again until the last layer is shown to be cancer free. The cure rate for this type of surgery is 94% to 99% making it a very commonly used surgery.


No anesthesia is required for cryosurgery which involves freezing off tumor tissue via a spray device. The tumor and tissue surrounding it is sprayed with liquid nitrogen and then the area crusts and scabs until it falls off over the next several weeks. It is a simple and cheap way to get rid of a tumor and is a good choice for patients that suffer from bleeding disorders but it is not as effective as the surgical methods so it is usually only chosen for superficial less serious forms of skin cancer.


Small lesions are usually treated with electrosurgery which involves using burning heat to destroy tumor and keep bleeding at bay. A curette is used to scrap off the growth and then the skin tissue underneath is burned to remove any tumor cells that may be lurking in the left behind tissue. It is generally used for superficial skin cancers and not for those in difficult positions on the skin.