Skin Cancer Treatments
If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, you want a specialist specifically trained in and experienced with Mohs micrographic surgery, which is the most effective and precise treatment for most types of skin cancer. For that reason, it is important to select a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon who is a member of the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS), such as Dr. Alysa Herman. One of the most highly regarded Mohs surgeons in Miami, Dr. Herman is exceptionally skilled in the specialized processes and techniques required for Mohs micrographic surgery. Because she limits her practice specifically to Mohs surgery and surgical dermatology, Dr. Herman has developed the abilities and experience needed to achieve an optimal outcome for her Florida skin cancer patients.
Meet Dr. Alysa Herman
If you've been diagnosed with skin cancer, you need a physician who is exceptionally qualified, experienced and compassionate. Dr. Herman is renowned among physicians and patients for her credentials and her dedication to patient care.
If you've been diagnosed with skin cancer, you need a physician who is exceptionally qualified, experienced and compassionate. Dr. Herman is renowned among physicians and patients for her credentials and her dedication to patient care.Request Your Consultation
Understanding Skin Cancer Treatments
If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, it is important to make sure that you fully understand your diagnosis and options. As a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in skin cancer, Dr. Herman can clarify any questions that you have. Learn more by reading Dr. Herman's Skin Cancer FAQ.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, factors that influence your skin cancer treatment include:
- Skin cancer type
- The area of your body or face on which the skin cancer has occurred
- The skin cancer stage, including whether it is aggressive
- Your physical health
The options for treating skin cancer include different types of surgery as well as a variety of non-surgical procedures. Dr. Herman can help you understand which treatment is right for you.
The goal in treating skin cancer is to completely remove the cancerous area, which can be achieved through different surgical procedures which include:
- Mohs surgery involves saving the optimal amount of healthy skin while removing the cancerous area completely. Performing this procedure requires a dermatologist with exceptional skills and specialized additional training in Mohs surgery, such as Dr. Herman. Because this method immediately verifies the complete removal of the cancerous tissue, Mohs surgery offers the highest success rate of all skin cancer treatments – up to 99%, according to the American College of Mohs Surgery. Learn more by reading Mohs Surgery FAQs.
- Excision involves removing the skin cancer and a small amount of skin that appears healthy, known as the margin. This procedure is typically performed in a dermatologist's office. The specimen is then sent to an outside laboratory to verify that the entire skin cancer has been removed.
- Curettage and electrodessication: This method may be appropriate for treating small basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. It typically involves a scraping and cauterizing technique to destroy the cancerous cells.
Non-Surgical Skin Cancer Treatments
Surgery is not always the right treatment choice, such as when the patient's health may preclude surgical options or additional treatment after surgery may be required. If skin cancer is detected extremely early, surgery might not be needed. In such cases, one of the following treatments may be used:
- Immunotherapy: If your dermatologist recommends this option, your own immune system will be used to treat the cancer. As part of immunotherapy, you will apply a prescription cream to your skin under the guidance of your dermatologist. This cream, Imiquimod (INN), modifies the way in which your immune system responds.
- Chemotherapy: For very thin, superficial skin cancers, your dermatologist may prescribe a topical chemotherapy. The medication is applied topically to the affected area and will destroy the abnormal skin cancer cells. New healthy skin will develop in the treated area once it has healed. For skin cancers that have spread beyond the skin, your dermatologist will refer you to an oncologist who will discuss whether medication taken internally (orally, via injections or through an IV) may be an appropriate option for the type of skin cancer that you have.
- Photodynamic therapy: To perform this procedure, your dermatologist will apply a chemical to the area of skin cancer. After the chemical has been on your skin for a few hours, your dermatologist will have you expose that area to a special light, which destroys the cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation treatment is usually reserved for patients who have very large tumors and would be disfigured by surgery, or for patients who are unable to have surgery due to other health problems. This method typically requires up to 30 separate treatments over a period of weeks and is performed in the hospital as an outpatient procedure.