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In some cases, treating skin cancer may consist of removing all of the cancer during the biopsy. If you require additional treatment after the biopsy, options may include surgery, topical chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy, and radiation therapy. Because new skin cancers are more common than having a treated skin cancer spread, it is important to reduce your risk for developing new cancers once your treatment is complete.

How Is Skin Cancer Treated?

Different types of skin cancer treatment are available for people with non-melanoma skin cancer. Some types of treatment are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials.
Treatment options will depend on the:
In most cases, the aim of treatment for skin cancer is to remove or destroy the cancer completely. Sometimes, doctors can remove all of the cancer during the biopsy. In such cases, no more treatment is needed. However, if you do need additional treatment, your doctor will describe your options. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist, or you may ask for a referral. Specialists who treat skin cancer include:
  • Dermatologists
  • Surgeons
  • Radiation oncologists.

Getting a Second Opinion

Before you start treatment, you might want a second opinion about the diagnosis and treatment plan. Many insurance companies cover a second opinion if you or your doctor requests it.
It may take some time and effort to gather medical records and arrange to see another doctor, but usually it is not a problem to take several weeks to get a second opinion. In most cases, the delay will not make skin cancer treatment less effective. It is important to discuss this delay with your doctor, however, because sometimes, people with skin cancer need treatment right away.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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