About skin cancer surgeries
Surgery is the most common treatment for skin cancer. Whether you’re suffering from basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, or melanoma, chances are your doctor will recommend a surgical procedure to remove the tumors and, often, cancerous lymph nodes as well.
There are a variety of skin cancer surgery procedures to consider based on your type of cancer and how much it has spread. The most common skin cancers are referred to as “nonmelanoma skin cancers” and are slow growing and easily treatable.
Basal cell carcinomas (which comprise about 90 percent of all skin cancer diagnoses) fall under this category, as do squamous cell carcinomas. These varieties rarely metastasizes, but they are considered malignant due to their ability to destroy surrounding tissue. The most common treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancers is surgical excision.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Surgery is required to remove the primary melanoma as well as any cancerous lymph nodes. Surgical procedures to treat melanoma include local excision, wide local excision, lymph node dissection, and sentinel lymph node biopsy.
The best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, particularly between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when ultraviolet light is at its peak. Use plenty of sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, and wear hats, long-sleeved shirts, and pants. Be on the lookout for any changes to your skin, particularly suspicious-looking moles. If you’re older than 40, have a professional examine your skin once a year.