Chances are, you know someone who has experienced skin cancer and its treatment. That’s because skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Fortunately, it’s also the most easily-preventable. However, if you find yourself needing treatment for a type of skin cancer, Dr. Baird can help. During a regular screening, Dr. Baird can determine the best course of treatment for troublesome areas that might include one of these techniques.
Excisional Skin Surgery
This technique can be effective for most types of skin cancer, as it simply removes the affected skin and surrounding tissue. It’s a quick and easy procedure that includes numbing the area and removing skin with a scalpel. This can be damaging to the appearance of the skin and create scarring, however, so Dr. Baird can also perform closure and reconstruction along with this technique to ensure the skin heals correctly and smoothly. For many patients, the cosmetic appearance of the skin is a large concern, so we can recommend your best options for restoring your skin’s appearance.
Curettage and Cryotherapy
As an addition to growth removal, this technique can help remove additional cancerous cells without cutting the skin. Curettage uses an instrument called a curette (more commonly used in the treatment of some uterine conditions) to gently scrape away cancerous cells while any remaining ones are removed with an electric needle. Alternatively, liquid nitrogen can be used to kill any remaining cancerous cells.
Some patients prefer not to undergo a surgical procedure or one that removes skin, so photodynamic therapy (PDT) can be an effective alternative. This treatment uses a product that causes the skin to become photosensitive, and the cancerous skin is then exposed to light which gradually kills the cancerous cells. This can, however, cause patients to become overly sensitive to sunlight and thus more susceptible to further sun damage. PDT can be performed on its own or as an accompaniment to other skin cancer treatments.
The best way to address your skin cancer treatment is with the help of a board certified dermatologist who specializes in cancer treatment. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Baird, contact our Farmington office by calling or filling out our online form.