Skin cancer is a condition that we treat with a great deal of gentleness and precision. Several approaches may be taken, and we base treatment around particulars in order to produce the most favorable outcome. We offer the innovative, effective MOHS surgery with our specialist, Dr. Nicholas Snavely. More information on this state-of-the-art procedure can be found on our MOHS page.
For many years, a standard form of skin cancer removal has been standard excision. This method of skin cancer removal is suitable for the treatment of many basal and squamous cell carcinomas. A standard excision is performed after the area has been numbed with a local anesthetic. Your doctor makes fine incisions around the cancerous lesion, and carefully removes the cancer, as well as a small amount of tissue surrounding the lesion itself. The area is then stitched, and it will heal over the course of a few weeks. Large excisions may require reconstructive surgery. In a comprehensive consultation regarding cancer treatment, we will discuss which type of removal method may be most appropriate. Depending on where the skin cancer is located, MOHS may be the preferred method of removal, particularly when it is important to preserve a high amount of tissue for aesthetics.
The term cryotherapy refers to the freezing of a growth or lesion. This treatment is used only occasionally, and for smaller cancers that affect the surface layer of the skin. Performed in our office, cryotherapy involves spraying the cancerous growth with liquid nitrogen, the same substance used to treat warts. There is only minimal discomfort associated with cryotherapy, often described as a bee sting sensation. As the liquid nitrogen works on cancer cells, you may feel a mild ache. Soon after application, a blister will begin to develop over the lesion. Sometimes this blister will contain blood, which may have to be drained using a very fine, sterile needle. It is always important that the top of the blister remain intact. A dressing is placed over the blister, which will form into a scab. Within a few weeks, this scab will fall off, taking cancer cells with it. In some cases, subsequent treatments are necessary to eliminate the cancerous lesion fully.