Skin Cancer Treatment Brownwood, TX
What is Skin Cancer?
Skin Cancer begins in your skin’s top layer-the epidermis. This is a thin layer that provides a protective cover of skin cells that your body continually sheds. The epidermis contains three main types of cells: Squamous cells, Basal cells, and Melanocytes.
Much of the damage to these skin cells is a result from ultraviolet (UV) radiation found in sunlight and in the lights used in tanning beds. Sun exposure doesn’t explain skin cancers that develop on skin not ordinarily exposed to sunlight. This indicates that other factors may contribute to your risk of skin cancer, such as being exposed to toxic substances or having a condition that weakens your immune system. Your options for treatment for skin cancers and precancerous skin lesions known as actinic keratosis will vary depending on the size, type, depth, and location. Small skin cancers limited to the surface may not require treatment after an initial skin biopsy that removes the entire growth.
Skin Cancer Treatment we offer
Each skin cancer treatment option works differently and may have side effects. Skin cancer treatment can include surgical procedures or other techniques for physically removing the cancer such as freezing, surgical excision, Photodynamic or laser therapy. You may also get a combination of therapies. At your visit at Creative Image Laser Solutions you and Dr. Gary Butka will make a treatment plan that is right for you.
Treatment options available include:
- Cryotherapy. Freezing. Dr. Butka may destroy actinic keratosis and some small, early skin cancers by freezing them with liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery). The dead tissue sloughs off as it heals.
- Excisional surgery. This treatment may be appropriate for any type of skin cancer. The cancerous tissue and a surrounding margin of healthy skin is excised (cut out).
- Curettage, Electrodessiccation. After removing most of a growth, layers of cancer cells using a device with a circular blade (curet) will be scraped away. An electric needle destroys any remaining cancer cells.
- Photodynamic therapy. This treatment destroys skin cancer cells by using a combination of laser light and medications that make cancer cells sensitive to light.
How to Prepare for Skin Cancer Treatment?
The way that you prepare for skin cancer treatment will depend on the technique that Dr. Butka recommends. Some treatments, such as cryotherapy. Others, such as photodynamic therapy and excisional surgery, may require certain precautions ahead of time. For example, if you are a good candidate for photodynamic therapy, you may be advised to stop taking some types of medication before having your procedure done. The steps that you are advised to take prior to treatment are safety measures to ensure that we achieve optimal results without unnecessary risks or side effects.
During your consultation for skin cancer treatment at our office in Brownwood, TX, you can expect to receive clear, concise information regarding how to prepare for treatment and what to expect during and after your procedure. We are available to answer any questions that you may have, as well. A skin cancer diagnosis can create stress and anxiety. We want to reduce that as much as possible! It is important that you have peace of mind going into your clinical treatment, which we can foster via education and information.
Can Skin Cancer Return After Treatment?
According to research, there is a slight chance of recurrence at some point after skin cancer treatment. The percentages are relatively low, resting around 15 percent for nonmelanoma skin cancers. Data collected through numerous studies suggest that patients who remain free of melanoma for 10 years after treatment have a lower risk of it returning after that point.
Recovery and Aftercare for Skin Cancer Treatment
After receiving skin cancer treatment, it will be necessary to care for the skin so you do not develop an infection or significant scarring. Your aftercare instructions will relate to the procedure that you’ve had done to remove skin cancer. Generally, treatment aftercare instructions revolve around cleaning the treatment site, applying appropriate products to maintain a strong moisture barrier, and avoiding sun exposure. You should receive detailed care instructions from the office either before or on the day of your procedure. If questions arise, please contact us for assistance.
Will I Require Chemotherapy for My Skin Cancer?
Chemotherapy is sometimes needed to eradicate cancer cells that have metastasized away from the cancerous growth on the skin. According to studies, chemotherapy is rarely necessary in cases of basal cell carcinoma. It is considered for squamous cell carcinomas and melanoma skin cancers only if it is more appropriate than immunotherapy. The goal of skin cancer treatment is to fully eliminate the cancerous cells from the skin and also to determine if abnormal cells have spread to lymph nodes or other areas of the body. Dr. Butka performs a thorough examination and testing process at the onset of your care. This helps him determine the scope of treatment that is needed.
How Soon Should You Begin Treatment for Skin Cancer?
If you see a change in a spot or mole on your body or have developed an unusual growth, please do not wait to see your doctor. If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, follow up with care as soon as possible. Skin cancer is a progressive disease. The longer that you go without treatment, the more cancer may spread into the surrounding tissue. The vast majority of skin cancer cases are not fatal. However, some skin cancers can cause disfigurement. Prompt care for this disease can mean achieving great results with more conservative treatment.