If the doctor determines you have skin cancer, you can have additional tests to determine the extent or stage of skin cancer. As superficial skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma rarely spread, a biopsy that removes the entire growth is the test needed to determine the cancer stage. But if you have large squamous cell carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, or Melanoma, your doctor may recommend further tests to determine the extent of cancer. Sundoctors Australia has the best skin cancer specialists in the skin cancer clinic Sydney.
Additional tests may include imaging tests to examine the nearby lymph nodes for signs of Cancer or a process to remove a nearby lymph node and test it for signs of cancer. Doctors use the Roman numerals l to lV to indicate the stage of cancer. Cancer stage I is small and limited to the area where they began. Stage IV indicates advanced cancer spread to other areas of the body. The skin cancer stage helps to determine which treatment options will be most effective.
To Diagnose Skin Cancer Your Doctor May
● Examine Your Skin –
the doctor may look at your skin to determine whether your skin changes are likely to be skin cancer. Further tests may be required to confirm that diagnosis.
● Take A Sample Of Suspicious Skin For Testing –
Your doctor may remove the suspicious-looking skin for testing. A biopsy determines whether you have skin cancer and if it is so what type of skin cancer you have.
The treatment options for skin cancer and the precancerous skin lesions known as actinic keratosis vary, depending on the type, size and location of lesions. Small skin cancers limited to the surface of the skin may not require treatment beyond an initial skin biopsy which removes entire growth. If additional treatment is needed options include –
● Freezing –
your doctor may destroy actinic keratoses and some small, early skin cancers by freezing them with liquid nitrogen, it is called cryosurgery. The dead tissues slough off when it thaws.
● Excisional Surgery –
This type of treatment is appropriate for any type of skin cancer. The doctor cuts out the cancerous tissue and the surrounding margin of healthy skin. Wide excision removing extra skin around the tumor- may be recommended in some cases.
● Mohs Surgery –
This process is for larger, recurring, or difficult to treat cancers which may include both basal and squamous cell carcinomas. It is often used in areas where it is necessary to conserve as much skin as possible, like on the nose. During Mohs, the surgery doctor removes the skin growth layer-by-layer, examines each layer under the microscope until no abnormal cells remain. This process allows cancer cells to be removed without taking an excessive amount of surrounding healthy skin.
● Curettage And Electrodesiccation Or Cryotherapy –
After removing most of the growth, the doctor scrapes away layers of cancer cells using a device with the circular blade. An electric needle kills any remaining cancer cells. Liquid nitrogen in this process can be used to freeze the base and edges of the treated area. The simple quick procedures may be used to treat basal cell cancers or thin squamous cell cancers. Other treatment methods involve therapies that include Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy, and biological therapy.