Discovering that you have cancer of any kind can be shocking, but when you have skin cancer, being able to see the cancerous cells on your skin can be even more frightening. You may be eager to begin treatment so that you can get rid of the cancer, but be unsure what kind of treatment your doctor may recommend. Here are some treatments that your dermatologist might want to discuss with you.
If your doctor plans to simply excise the skin cancer, they are planning to just cut the lesion out of your skin. Your skin is numbed beforehand, and in one session, the cancer is removed from your skin. If your doctor performs an excision, they are likely to cut an area a bit larger than the lesion so that they can collect and examine samples from the surrounding skin just to ensure that the cancer has not spread. You may have stitches afterwards that will stay in place as your skin heals.
Named after a skilled surgeon, the Mohs surgery can help people get rid of their skin cancer without too much damage to the healthy skin tissue which surrounds the cancerous cells. With this technique, a doctor will give you local anesthesia to numb the immediate area and then remove a layer of affected skin. The doctor will remove another layer, then another, until they reach a layer of skin where no more cancer cells that can be seen with a microscope.
Mohs surgery can be time-consuming, but by moving so slowly and being meticulous about removing cancerous cells, the doctor can both ensure that the cancer is completely removed and that there is minimal damage to the remaining skin.
Skin Reconstruction Surgery
If the skin cancer wasn't caught until a large surface area of your skin had cancerous cells or if you have significant scarring from other methods, you may be an eligible candidate for skin reconstruction. This type of surgery includes tissue transfers and skin grafts, which means that skin from another part of your body may be used to replace the skin that was affected by the skin cancer. If you require reconstruction, you are likely to undergo a number of procedures that span a number of sessions.
Talk with your personal doctor about what they think would be most appropriate for you in terms of treatment for your skin cancer. They can give you the information you need to get through this disease and come out healthier in the future. Contact a medical center like Countryside Dermatology & Laser Center for more information.