The incidence of skin cancer continues to grow, especially in younger people ages 15-29. Skin cancer is among the most common types of cancer, and thousands are diagnosed with it yearly. However, most cases are not too severe and can be treated easily by a skilled physician.
Unfortunately, many skin cancer cases affect the eyes and face. This is the part of your body that offers the most exposure to the sun, especially with the lack of proper eye and skin protection. If skin cancer is detected early enough, it can usually be easily treated.
Here are several techniques used to treat skin cancer.
In mild cases, physicians many times use cryotherapy, also known as cryosurgery. This procedure uses liquid nitrogen to freeze off the affected areas, in much the same way warts are frozen off. The skin is first numbed with a local anesthetic and then the liquid nitrogen is applied using a cotton applicator or aerosol spray.
At first, there may be some blistering and the area needs to be kept covered. Within thirty days, scab tissue will form, and then it will basically fall off. As long as cancerous cells do not reappear, you are finished and you can enjoy your normal life again.
The most efficient type of removal with regard to serious cases is Mohs surgical treatment. This uses highly centered lasers to cut out the tumor, while preserving as much of the natural skin material as possible. These microscopic lasers tend to be precise enough to slice out just the afflicted area.
It is difficult and requires a highly trained physician. The procedure is done in a number of stages, and can be trying for both the patient and the doctor. However, the results are generally very good. This treatment has the very best success rate of any kind of in treating skin cancer malignancy.
Whether or not you are a candidate for Mohs surgery will depend on the nature of the disease. There are different varieties, and treatments vary for every individual. A physician will be able to tell you if Mohs surgery is an option.
Skin cancer and Reconstructive Surgery
When skin and tissue are removed causing disfigurement, reconstructive surgery can enable you to regain the look you want. The size and location of the defect will dictate the depth of the procedure. The general idea of this surgery is to borrow extra tissue from other similar locations on the body.
All layers and tissue types of the area removed need to be replaced. In some cases, it is necessary to harvest skin and cartilage grafts from other areas of the body. The procedure length can vary anywhere from 15 min. to 3 hrs. depending on the exact defect and can be done under local anesthesia or conscious sedation.
Skin cancer is not the end of the world, especially with so many advances in this area. Regular checkups with your doctor are crucial to achieving a clean bill of health. Early detection and successful treatment will get you back to a normal life.