Treatment Options & Your Team

Treatment of Skin Cancer Will Depend on a Number of Factors. For Example:

  • the stage of the disease (whether it has spread deeper into the skin or to other areas of the body)
  • the type of skin cancer
  • the size and location of the tumor
  • your preferences 

Treatment Options for Skin Cancer May Include

  • Surgery  – to remove the cancer cells; different surgical techniques could be recommended 
  • Topical medications – medications or ointments that are applied to the skin
  • Photodynamic therapy – therapy that uses a drug and a type of laser light to kill cancer cells
  • Radiation therapy  – uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing
  • Chemotherapy  – targets cancer cells directly and non-specifically to stop tumor growth; these medications can be taken by mouth or given through a vein
  • Immunotherapy – substances made by the body or in a laboratory are used to activate or trigger the body’s immune system to recognize and fight cancer cells
  • Targeted therapy  – medications are designed to target a specific protein or abnormal mutation that might be promoting cancer growth
  • Clinical trials  – studies that test new ways to use or combine drugs or techniques that are already approved or investigate novel therapies. Clinical trials may be a good option for some patients. Ask your doctor if a clinical trial is suitable for you. 

Who is on My Treatment Team?

Several health care providers may be involved in your care. This could include: 

  • Medical oncologist (ideally a doctor who focuses on your type of skin cancer)
  • Surgeon – surgical oncologist, plastic and/or general surgeon
  • Dermatologist
  • Nurse
  • Social worker or counselor
  • Nutritionist

Each of these professionals can help guide you to information and resources that may help you both during and after your treatment. You may want to contact your insurance carrier to ask if a case manager can be assigned. This person can assist in managing your treatment coverage options.  

Follow up care

Because skin cancer can come back, make sure to ask your doctor how often you should have your skin checked for signs of cancer. Make sure to keep any follow up visits.

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