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Treatment of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

The two most common types of nonmelanoma skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Treatment for each includes Mohs micrographic surgery, simple excision, topical chemotherapy, and cryosurgery. Follow-up exams are extremely important with these types of nonmelanoma skin cancer to ensure that the disease has not spread or recurred (come back).

Treatment of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer: Basal Cell Carcinoma

Treatment of basal cell carcinoma may include:
 
  • Mohs micrographic surgery
  • Simple excision
  • Electrodesiccation and curettage
  • Cryosurgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Laser surgery
  • Topical chemotherapy with fluorouracil (5FU)
  • Photodynamic therapy.
 
Follow-up skin exams are important for people with basal cell carcinoma, because they are likely to have a new or recurrent tumor within five years of the first one. After skin cancer treatment, the patient should have skin exams every six months for five years and once a year after five years.
 

Treatment of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer: Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Treatment of squamous cell carcinoma may include:
 
  • Mohs micrographic surgery
  • Simple excision
  • Electrodesiccation and curettage
  • Cryosurgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Topical chemotherapy with fluorouracil (5FU)
  • Laser surgery.
 
Follow-up skin exams are also important for people with squamous cell carcinoma. This type of skin cancer can spread; therefore, patients should have skin exams every three months for several years after treatment and then every six months.
 
(Click Skin Cancer Treatment for more information on treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancer.)
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