Skin Cancer Treatment Options

November 2, 2015

Today there are numerous treatments available for skin cancer elimination. For some people, surgical treatment is preferred and may include removal by removal or by Mohs surgery. Some skin cancer responds to treatment nonsurgically using topical creams, cryosurgery, curettage, or laser treatments.

For patients unable to tolerate surgery, radiotherapy may be an option and provides excellent cure rates. If the diagnosis is melanoma, that procedure can be performed in the office. If additional treatment is required, specialists will discuss further skin cancer treatment options, which may include surgery and lymph node biopsy. Additional treatments for melanoma are immunotherapy, radiation, and chemotherapy.

“It’s important to me that my patients understand clearly what their options are. The decision for which treatment they want is ultimately their decision, and I respect that.”
– Weilan Johnson, MD, Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dermatology Associates of Georgetown


Cryotherapy, or “cryosurgery,” is a procedure using liquid nitrogen to eliminate growths on the surface of the skin by freezing them. This is an effective, non-invasive treatment for precancerous skin lesions such as actinic keratoses, and other skin anomalies such as wartsskin tagsand moles.

When liquid nitrogen is applied it allows the dermatologists to focus on the damaged skin cells and terminate them at the cellular level. Afterward, the affected area usually forms a blister and scabs over, healing within three to six weeks.

Cryosurgery offers the advantage of being an affordable, uncomplicated procedure. Discuss with your doctor if cryosurgery is an appropriate treatment for your skin cancer.

Surgical Excision

When you choose excision as your skin cancer treatment option, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area, and the cancerous growth is removed using a scalpel. A limited amount of surrounding normal skin is also removed to help ensure complete removal of cancer cells. The surgical wound is then carefully repaired using sutures. The removed tissue is then sent for lab analysis to verify that all of the cancerous cells have been eradicated.


Skin cancer is removed by scraping the area with a curette, a sharp looped-edged tool. An electrocautery needle is then used to destroy any remaining cancer cells and aid in the control of bleeding. This process may be repeated with a deeper layer of tissue being scraped and cauterized each time to pursue destroying all cancer cells. Curettage is commonly used to treat basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers found in the top layer of skin.

Looking for Skin Cancer Treatment Options?

Discuss skin cancer treatment options with your physician and/or a board-certified dermatologist to develop the best treatment plan for you. Rely on the experts for recommendations you can trust. We have multiple locations throughout the country, so fill out our simple online form to get in touch with us. One of our local team members will reach out to you shortly to answer your questions or schedule an appointment for you to visit us soon.

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