If the doctor suspects a person has skin cancer, they are recommended to take numerous tests to evaluate the disease’s extent.
A biopsy is typically everything required to identify the stage of cancer. The doctor may also offer further examinations to evaluate the cancer’s extent if someone has an extensive Merkel cell carcinoma, melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma.
Apart from knowing the cancer stage, having information about treating skin cancer is also essential to help people stay on the right track.
Skin Cancer Stage Diagnosis
Additional testing may include imaging tests to detect cancer signals in the nearby lymph nodes. It helps determine the treatment for extracting the nearby lymph node and then testing it for the signs.
Doctors use Roman numerals from I to IV to signify the cancer stage. Stage I refers to tiny cancer localised to the site of origin. Stage IV one has already spread to other body parts and is progressing.
The stage of skin cancer determines which treatment methods are most effective.
Treatment Options Available
Skin cancers have different treatment options based on the scale, nature, depth and location. Smaller ones that are restricted to the skin’s surface might not require therapy beyond a biopsy for the removal of the entire tumour.
If further treatment is required, the following options may be considered:
The doctor might use liquid nitrogen to freeze some tiny, early skin malignancies. When frozen tissue thaws, it sloughs off.
Any skin cancer could benefit from this treatment option. The doctor excises the malignant tissue and a healthy skin margin around it. In rare circumstances, a wide excision might be recommended to remove excess normal skin surrounding the tumour.
This technique treats skin malignancies that are bigger, recurring or hard to cure and includes both squamous and basal cell carcinomas. It’s frequently used in regions where preserving as much skin as possible is essential, like the nose.
The doctor will remove layer by layer the skin growth during Mohs surgery, inspecting every layer underneath a microscope till no abnormal cells exist. This treatment allows malignant cells to be eliminated without removing too much good skin.
Curettage, Electrodesiccation and Cryotherapy
After removing most of a tumour, the doctor uses a circular blade to scrape away the cancer cell layers, called curettage. Any residual cancer cells are destroyed using an electric needle called electrodesiccation.
Liquid nitrogen is further used for freezing the base and borders of the treated region in a version of this process called cryotherapy.
Basal cell tumours and thin squamous cell cancers can be treated with these essential, rapid treatments.
Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by delivering high-powered radiation beams, like X-rays. When cancer cannot be eliminated during surgeries, radiation is considered.
Chemotherapy uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. Lotions or creams having anti-cancer medicines can be administered directly to the skin for cancers localised over the skin layer. Skin malignancies spreading to other body parts can be treated with systemic chemotherapy.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
This treatment uses a mix of medications and laser light, making the cancer cells sensitive to light to kill skin cancer cells.
If one observes any uncommon skin changes that concern them, they must schedule an appointment with a doctor. They may also visit a dermatologist specialising in some situations of skin conditions and disorders.
It is good to be well-prepared since sessions can be brief, and there’s typically a lot to cover.