Skin Cancer Treatment
For most skin cancers, surgical removal remains the “gold standard” of treatment, providing the best cure rates and confirmation of cancer clearance. A majority of Basal Cell Carcinomas, Squamous Cell Carcinomas and Melanomas are treated this way. At the Treasure Valley Dermatology, we employ of variety of options in addition to surgery, allowing us to tailor our treatment to an individual patient’s needs.
The following surgical and non-surgical options are most commonly used at our office:
Surgical removal is done in-office with local anesthesia. This is the most common method for removal of invasive cancers on the trunk and extremities. Most procedures can be completed in 30 minutes or less.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery
Mohs Micrographic Surgery is a specialized, highly effective technique for the removal of skin cancer. The procedure was developed in the 1930s by Dr. Frederic Mohs at the University of Wisconsin and is now practiced throughout the world. Mohs surgery differs from other skin cancer treatments in that it permits the immediate and complete microscopic examination of the removed cancerous tissue, so that all “roots” and extensions of the cancer can be eliminated. Due to the methodical manner in which tissue is removed and examined, Mohs surgery has been recognized as the skin cancer treatment with the highest reported cure rate. Dr. Portela performs this procedure in the office under local anesthesia. Due to the meticulous nature of the surgery and processing patients should plan to be in the office for 2-4 hours. Most of this time is spent comfortably waiting for results. Following complete tumor removal the area is sutured in a manner to provide the best cosmetic results possible. For additional information please see the Mohs micrographic surgery section of our website.
Electrodessication and curettage(ED&C)
This procedure involves removal of the superficial cancerous layer of skin by scraping away the diseased tissue with an instrument (curette), followed by cautery of the wound bed. ED & C is an efficient and highly effective treatment for superficial cancers of the skin.
Topical immunomodulatory agents
Topical chemotherapeutic and immunomodulatory agents can also be used to treat some skin cancers when they are superficial, although cure rates are not as high as surgery.
This is employed on a more limited basis for treatment of skin cancers where surgery cannot easily remove the cancer, or when surgery may not the best for an individual patient.
Your Treasure Valley Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center provider will discuss the skin cancer treatment options available to you and help you make the choice that will maximize your cure rate in the safest manner possible