Surgery & Procedures
There are a number of different procedures that can be used to remove skin cancer cells:
- curettage and electrodesiccation or cryotherapy: use of a circular blade to scrape away layers of cancer cells while an electric needle destroys any remaining cancer cells
- excisional surgery: removal of cancerous tissue and a surrounding margin of healthy skin
- freezing: use of liquid nitrogen to destroy cancer cells
- Mohs surgery: removal of the skin layer by layer to avoid removal of too much healthy skin
- Each layer is examined under the microscope.
- Removal stops when all cancerous cells have been removed/only health skin remains.
- photodynamic therapy: destruction of cells with laser light and drugs that make cancer cells sensitive to light
Chemotherapy for skin cancers involves the use of medications to shrink or kill cancerous cells. Systemic chemotherapy can be given intravenously (IV) or by pill. Your doctor may also recommend creams or lotions containing anti-cancer agents. There are also biological therapies - which use your body's immune system to kill cancer cells - for certain types of skin cancer.
The board-certified medical oncologists, nurses, and technicians at Connecticut Oncology Group provide the most effective, advanced care with warm, personal attention and support for patients and their families. Your medical oncology team will work closely with your other providers and help provide access to clinical trials.
Radiation oncology is the highly-controlled use of radiation to cure or treat symptoms of skin cancer.
Learn more about radiation therapy options at Middlesex