The type, size, depth and location of your skin cancer dramatically influence the best treatment modality for you. Technology has improved dramatically and many early skin cancers can now be managed with creams or laser therapy. Surgery however remains the golden standard for management of most skin cancers.
Topical Treatments for Skin Cancers
5 Flurouracil (Efudix) and imiquimoid (Aldara) are creams that can be used for some superficial BCC’s and SCC’s in situ. This treatment usually takes around 6 weeks.
Surgical Treatments for Skin Cancers
Surgery is a common treatment for basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. Different surgical techniques can be used. The options depend on the type of skin cancer, how large the cancer is, where it is on the body, and other factors. Most often the surgery can be done in a doctor’s office or hospital clinic using a local anesthetic (numbing medicine).
Skin Cancer Prevention
The Skin Cancer Foundation has always recommended using a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher as one important part of a complete sun protection regimen. Sunscreen alone is not enough, however. Read our full list of skin cancer prevention tips.
Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
Do not burn.
Avoid tanning and UV tanning beds.
Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Apply 2 tablespoons of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Re-apply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
Examine your skin head-to-toe at least every 3 month.
See your doctor every year for a professional skin exam.