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Skin cancer types and treatment

Skin cancer types and treatment

The number of melanoma patients across the world increases, especially in developed counties of Europe. Less and less patients are diagnosed with the I stage melanoma, more and more melanomas of II stage are diagnosed. 97% of patients diagnosed with melanoma on time recover successfully. 

Patients matching such features should check their moles prophylactically:

  • light-skinned peaple wh tend to sunburn quickly,
  • children and elder people,
  • people taking medications increasing sensitivity to light,
  • people with endocrinological or heart/blood-vessel diseases,
  • people who spend a lot of time in the sun,
  • people who are sun exposed in short periods of time (during a vacation),
  • patients having more the 50 moles on their skin,
  • patients having greater than 5mm moles on their skin,
  • people whose at least one member of a family was diagnosed with melanoma.

An early skin cancer detection gives greater chances to save a patient’s life. That is why skin cancer tests should be carried out each year or at once if any unusual symptoms were noticed. There are several ways to find out if a patient has a skin cancer:

  • laboratory tests;
  • skin cancer biopsy;
  • siascopy;
  • morphological studies on skin cancer.

Laboratory tests – data of urine and blood analysis may provide a lot of information about an impact of cancer on patient’s organism;

Skin cancer biopsy – a sample of a tumor tissue or the whole tumor is examined by a microscope. Such an examination allows to find out if the growth of cancerous cells is quick;

Siascopy – it is a new, painless, noninvasive examination technology which shows if a patient has a melanoma. During the siascopy test a mole is scanned and its condition is evaluated with a help of a computer. This method of detection also helps for a doctor to decide on the most effective treatment. Procedure is short, it only takes up to 20 sec.;

Morphological studies – morphological studies or a biopsy are applied if there are any cancer suspicions after a medical examination.

Melanoma (skin cancer) treatment

How the skin cancer melanoma treatment goes? After melanoma is diagnosed it is recommended to perform a surgery in two weeks. During the surgery, a skin tumor (melanoma) is removed and taken for histological analysis to perform. According to the analysis results, the stage of the disease and its further treatment is determined.

I stage of the disease – it is enough to remove a tumor,
II-III stage of the disease – remove a tumor and extra long-term treatment with interferon doses is required.
There is a newly appeared treatment for melanoma skin cancer - biological medications applied to patients with advanced melanoma that give a chance to expand patient‘s life, slow down the spread of skin cancer.

How often is melanoma successfully cured? 97% of patients with the I stage melanoma successfully recover, 60-70% of II stage melanoma cases get well as well, melanoma of stage III is beaten by 30-60% of patients. Treatment results strongly depend on skin cancer‘s early diagnostics.

Probably the most common form of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma. 800000 inhabitants fall ill with the disease every year in USA. 95% of basal cell carcinoma cases are successfully cured, although an untreated disease may cause complications or even death.

The disease is most probable to individuals regularly exposed by sun. This type of skin cancer was most common among men but recently more and more women and children are diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma. Patients matching such characteristics fall under the higher risk group – light skin, light hair, red hair, green/blue/grey eyes.

Basal cell skin cancer treatment

There are a few methods of basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) treatment:

Cryodestruction – a procedure of a skin cancer removal, during which low temperature liquid nitrogen is used. The procedure allows to remove benign skin lesions, such as warts, papilloma or tumors of epithelial origin.

Medical treatment – prescription of most effective medications in order to treat a skin cancer.

Laser destruction – skin cancer removal using a laser.

Photodynamic therapy – during the procedure a substance sensitive to a light is applied on a skin lesion and after 3-6 hours the area is enlightened with special rays.

Skin cancer surgery – depending on a size of a tumor, its anatomic area and the origin of a lesion a surgery volume is determined. Usually a local anaesthesia is chosen.

Radiation therapy – one of a complex skin cancer treatment methods applied to a quarter of patients.

As other types of skin cancer, so a basal skin cancer treatment is most likely to succeed when diagnosed as soon as possible. Early detected skin lesions can be removed without great consequences. Therefore, it is a must to have moles or other lesions checked once in a while.

Usually squamous cell carcinoma is not dangerous to patients life but there may occur some aggressive cases. Comparing to basal cell carcinoma it is a five times rarer skin cancer type. This skin cancer type develops out of precancerous diseases:

  • actinic keratosis impacted, open to sun body parts, inside the skin and mucous membrane. Its origin are the same cells as in basalioma case;
  • keratinocytes, although the course of the disease differs. Metastasis is characteristic for this form of skin cancer as much as for melanoma.

Squamous cell skin cancer treatment

What is the treatment for squamous cell skin cancer? Squamous cell skin cancer can be treated in such ways as medical treatment, cryodestruction, laser destruction, photodynamic therapy, radiation therapy, skin cancer surgery, combination of several methods.

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Squamous cell carcinoma begin to form in epidermis layer, although an invasion to derma (deep layer of skin) is typical as well. In cases when invasion seeks only epidermis, skin cancer squamous cell carcinoma is called Bowen’s disease.

Squamous cell carcinoma does not have as characteristic view as basaliomas but it has been noticed that these tumors may begin with slowly growing erythematous maculas or papules that develop into knots that tend to ulcerate. Tumors may hurt.