There are hundreds of different types of skin cancer, although most know only the three most common types: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma. In addition, there are sometimes different types of a particular cancer. For example, there is superficial basal cell carcinoma, nodular basal cell carcinoma, micronodular basal cell carcinoma, cystic basal cell carcinoma, infiltrative basal cell carcinoma, sclerotic basal cell carcinoma, and morpheaform basal cell carcinoma. The treatment of these different types will vary in cure rate success with each treatment option.
In order to know what treatment option is best, we must look at the exact pathology, which includes the kind of cancer along with other vital information depending upon the type of cancer, the location of the tumor, the depth of invasion, and several other factors. In short, this requires expertise and someone who can explain the different options that are available, including the risks, benefits, expected cure rates, and what to expect both during and after treatment. The goal of this discussion is to inform you of all of your options so that you can choose what is best for you, based on your own criteria of what is most important to you.
For example, some patients do not want surgery under any condition and therefore we must explore non-surgical options in detail, in addition to understanding the pros and cons to surgery for a basis of comparison. Some patients do not want to have to do anything or they have no one at home to assist them, so this must be taken into account. In short, you and your provider must come up with a treatment option that is best for you. By the way, the option not to treat a cancer is always an option and, when applicable, should also be discussed.
Below are some of the common treatment methods used to treat skin cancers. Click on one of them for more information.