At Heartland Dermatology, we offer a variety of treatments designed to remove skin cancer. While all the treatments we offer are both safe and effective, Dr. Shaffer and his providers will meet with you to discuss your unique situation, and which option will be best for you. View our skin cancer removal treatments below:
This standard technique involves removal of a skin cancer with a scalpel taking adequate tissue around the margins of the lesion. The margins are later evaluated by a pathologist to ensure the complete removal of the lesion. While Mohs micrographic surgery is recommended for the face, excisions are generally performed on the trunk and extremities.
Curettage describes the superficial scraping away of the identified skin cancer. The area around the lesion is numbed with local anesthetic, then a sharp instrument, called a curette, is used for scraping. An electric current from a special machine is used to control bleeding and kill any cancer cells remaining around the edge of the wound. Recurrence is not uncommon and regular check-ups are recommended.
Some forms of skin cancer may respond to radiation treatments. This is the use of x-rays to destroy the cancer cells. If this is the best treatment for you, you will be referred to the appropriate treatment center. The affected area generally needs to be treated several times over a number of weeks to reach a dose that is effective for the size and stage of your skin cancer.
Liquid nitrogen cryotherapy is used to “freeze” the premalignant and benign lesions of the skin, most commonly Actinic Keratosis as well as some superficial skin cancers. The treated skin may initially swell and become reddened for a day or two, then peel over the next week leaving healthy new skin. Actinic Keratosis that do not respond to this treatment may need to be biopsied to make certain they have not transformed into skin cancer.
Aldara (imiquimod) is an immune response modifier. Aldara is used to treat actinic keratosis (a condition caused by too much sun exposure) on the face and scalp. Aldara (for the skin) is also used to treat a minor form of skin cancer called superficial basal cell carcinoma, when surgery would not be an appropriate treatment.
Erivedge (vismodegib) is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth of certain cancer cells in the body. Erivedge is used to treat extensive and advanced cases of basal cell carcinoma.