Unusual spots or changing moles can be signs of skin cancer, a disease diagnosed in nearly 10,000 Americans every day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Fortunately, prompt skin cancer treatment from your Prairieville and Baton Rouge, LA, dermatologists, Dr. Trent Massengale and Dr. Joshua Pitre of Atlas Dermatology, can help you protect your health if you receive a skin cancer diagnosis.
How is skin cancer treated?
Skin cancer treatment is based on the type and severity of the disease but may include one or more of these treatments:
- Topical Medications: Topical medications are placed directly on the skin and kill cancerous cells on the skin or near the surface of the skin. The treatment is usually used to treat pre-cancerous spots or cancer that has not reached the deeper layers of the skin. You will need to apply the medication every day for weeks or months.
- Curettage and Electrodessication: Cancerous cells are scraped off the skin with a small, spoon-shaped instrument. An electrical current applied to the skin stops bleeding and also kills any remaining cancer cells.
- Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy involves spraying cancerous or pre-cancerous growths with liquid nitrogen. The substance freezes the cells, causing them to blister and fall off.
- Excision: During this surgical procedure, your Prairieville or Baton Rouge skin doctor uses a scalpel to remove cancerous cells and a margin of healthy skin around the cells. A second surgery may be necessary to remove all of the cancer cells in some cases.
- Mohs Micrographic Surgery: Mohs micrographic surgery minimizes the loss of healthy tissue, reduces scarring, speeds healing, and may even improve the cure rate for your cancer. During the surgery, your dermatologist removes one layer of your skin and examines it under a microscope. They'll continue to remove skin layer by layer until they no longer see cancerous cells.
- Radiation: Your skin doctor may recommend radiation therapy if your cancer is located in an area that's difficult to reach, the tumor is large, or your health prevents you from undergoing surgery. Radiation therapy may also be combined with other treatment methods.
Do you need skin cancer treatment? Call your dermatologists in Prairieville and Baton Rouge, LA, Dr. Massengale and Dr. Pitre of Atlas Dermatology at (225) 313-4560, or (844) 313-4560 to schedule your appointment.