To treat your basal cell carcinoma, your oncologist will take into consideration several factors such as age and severity of the tumor: appearance, size, etc. Nowadays, several methods of treatment are available to eradicate a skin cancer: electrocautery, surgery, cryosurgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Sometimes, the therapies require the cooperation of several specialists.
This method aims to destroy, by extreme cold, the cancer cells. During the procedure, the specialist applies liquid nitrogen on the diseased tissue for a few seconds, which freezes the tumor and destroys cancer cells. In general, cryosurgery is performed to treat very small cancers and pre-cancerous or abnormal skin changes.
This surgical technique involves removing the cancer of the skin with a portion of surrounding healthy tissue. Surgical excision can be used in the treatment of medium-size basal cell carcinomas. Surgical excision often successfully treats basal cell carcinoma; however, it often leaves scars.
Also called electrosurgery, cauterization consists of burning the tumor and then removing it with a sharp instrument called curette. Because of its effectiveness in the removal of small tumors, cauterization is often performed to treat basal cell carcinoma; however, it may leave scar, which can be recovered by a skin graft.
Radiation therapy is a local regional treatment, consisting of using high energy rays to kill cancer cells or and to shrink or completely eradicate a tumor. Unlike chemotherapy, radiation therapy treats a precised area of the body, which makes it has little impact on normal cells. Radiotherapy can be used alone or in combination with surgery or chemotherapy, depending on the size of the tumor.
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment consists of using very strong drugs to destroy cancer cells in the entire organism. Chemotherapy medications are, most of the times, taken in pill form or intravenously to kill or slow down the proliferation of cancer cells. In the treatment of basal cell carcinoma, however, chemotherapy drugs are mostly administered in the form of cream (tazarotene, imiquimod, 5-fluorouracil, and others) or lotion. In fact, chemotherapy is rarely used in the treatment of basal cell carcinoma; it is used only when the cancer has spread into other parts of the body.