Surgical excision is commonly used to remove squamous cell carcinomas. The dermatologist uses a scalpel blade during the procedure to excise or cut out skin cancer. The visible skin cancer, along with a margin of normal skin at the skin cancer border is removed and sent off for evaluation at a pathology lab to ensure that the skin cancer was removed entirely. The surgical site is then closed with sutures. The procedure usually leaves behind a line or linear scar.
Mohs surgery is a specialized technique used to treat skin cancers in sensitive locations such as the eyes, nose, lips, ears, fingers, and toes. It is also the treatment of choice for large and/or aggressive skin cancers with poorly defined borders.
During the procedure, a Mohs surgeon will remove the visible skin tumor and a very small margin of normal skin at the skin cancer border. While the patient is still present in the office, the tissue is processed and evaluated by the Mohs surgeon to determine if any skin cancer cells persist and where the persistent skin cancer cells reside. If skin cancer cells are still present, the Mohs surgeon will return to the patient to remove additional tissue at the site where skin cancer cells were noted. The process is repeated in stages, each time removing additional tissue and checking for residual skin cancer until there is no evidence of any remaining skin cancer.
Mohs surgery ensures that the skin cancer has been completely removed while preserving as much normal skin as possible.
Superficial Radiotherapy (SRT) is a non-invasive treatment option for non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) including basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the most common forms of skin cancer. With SRT, low-energy x-rays penetrate the cancer cells in the skin, killing the sensitive fast-growing cells that make up the tumors. The procedure is highly effective with a >95% cure rate and it is painless and cosmetically appealing (no surgery scars). The procedure is non-invasive and pain-free and thus requires no anesthetics. A full treatment requires multiple short sessions to maximize the cure rate and minimize side effects. Patients can expect a little redness and perhaps a protective scab that resolves.