Skin Cancer, Nonmelanoma (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Exams and Tests
Nonmelanoma skin cancer is diagnosed by:
Take steps to detect skin cancer early:
The goals of treatment for nonmelanoma skin cancer are to:
Treatment for nonmelanoma skin cancer depends on the size and location of the cancer, whether it is basal cell or squamous cell, and your age and overall health. The type of treatment will also depend on whether you have had skin cancer at that place before and whether the cancer is in a place where you have had radiation therapy. Because skin cancer usually grows slowly, it often can be detected early and successfully treated.
The most common treatment is surgery to destroy or remove the entire skin growth, including a margin of cancer-free tissue around the growth. Most surgical treatments are very effective, with high cure rates.
The main treatment options are:
Each of these treatments has advantages and disadvantages. Discuss your options with your doctor.
Follow-up treatment for nonmelanoma skin cancer includes skin self-exams and regular exams by your doctor. These exams are extremely important to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back (recurrence).
Almost half of people who have a nonmelanoma skin cancer will develop another one within 5 years.1 Your doctor may schedule you for exams as often as every 3 to 6 months for the first 2 years and yearly after that, especially for squamous cell carcinoma.
Treatment if the condition gets worse
Surgery is usually very effective for both basal and squamous cell carcinoma. But in rare cases, the cancer can spread to other parts of your body. This is more likely with squamous cell cancer than with basal cell.
What To Think About
For more information about specific skin cancer treatment, see the following topics:
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