4 Treatments For Skin Cancer Besides Radiation And Chemo
If you believe you are going to be dealing with a minor skin cancer removal process, and are interested in learning about non-radiation techniques, then this article will help you out. The techniques listed below are all methods that are currently in use that avoid radiation or chemo. They either use excision techniques or else they use non-chemo related chemicals.
One of the most popular forms of cancer treatment is Mohs surgery. It involves the doctor removing layers of skin, and examining each layer under a microscope until no remaining cancer cells are detected. So, for instance, a cancerous mole will be scraped and examined in stages.The reason this is done is to prevent any small pieces of cancerous cells from remaining in the skin. If the entire mole was removed, and the skin under it left alone, it might indeed have cancerous cells even though it might appear perfectly fine. The goal of the surgery is to completely remove any cancerous tissue and also do minimal damage. So, instead of cutting out a large chunk of skin around the mole in hopes of removing any cancerous material, the doctor slowly, slice by slice, removes tissue and examines it until the final slice reveals no cancerous cells.
This form of surgery is done using a liquid nitrogen. It is applied using either a cotton swab or a nozzle applicator. The liquid nitrogen freezes and thereby destroys the cancerous tissue. It will eventually fall off from the body. The main consideration when using this technique is that it is not appropriate for deep cancers. The physician must make a judgement call as to whether or nor the cancer cells will have spread down into the skin. The freezing liquid is really only appropriate if the cancer is totally on the surface of the skin.
PDT (Photo-dynamic Surgery)
This method of treatment is popular on sensitive areas such as the face where people are very conscious about any scaring. The process involves applying a chemical agent to the cancerous skin. This chemical reacts to light in a way that destroys the certain cancer cells and leaves non-cancerous cells alone. However, the process does not work with squamous cell cancer, and it also does not work well with deep cancers.
Curettage and Electrodesiccation
This method involves using a scalpel and removing cancerous tissue and then burning the area with an electric device. This burning of the tissue does two things. First, it further destroys any cancerous material that was not removed using the scalpel. Secondly, it stops the bleeding. The problem is that, unlike with mohs surgery, there can be some errant cancerous cells that have escape the scalpel and electrodesiccation.
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