Skin Cancer Treatment: What to Expect

A diagnosis of skin cancer can be scary but fortunately, there are a number of options to treat it. Whether the doctor has found basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma or another less common type of skin cancer, there is a protocol that's right for you and your situation. 

Dr. Peter Karlsberg and Michele Ayans, his physician's assistant, use cutting-edge treatments and therapies at the Ventura Institute for Dermatologic Arts, located in Ventura and Camarillo, California. They combine art and science to provide everything from important medical care to the highest quality cosmetic dermatological services. Whether you're looking for skin cancer treatmentinjectablesbody contouring, or more, we are here to help.

Skin cancer

The most common type of cancer, skin cancer strikes over 100,000 Americans each year. The three main kinds are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma (known as non-melanoma skin cancers) and melanoma. Other skin cancers that occur much less frequently are Merkel cell tumor and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans.

Most skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. When caught early and treated, they tend not to spread to other areas of the body. 

Melanomas, on the other hand, are much more serious. While they make up a smaller number of diagnosed skin cancer cases, they can be deadlier, as the cancer can spread.


There are a wide range of skin cancer treatments available. What is best for an individual depends on the type of skin cancer along with the size, depth, and location of it. Catching it early is also important as it often means a less invasive treatment.

Biopsy and freezing

Less invasive treatments can include everything from an initial skin biopsy that removes the whole growth to freezing the affected area with liquid nitrogen and letting it slough off when it thaws.

Excisional surgery

Excisional surgery can be used for all types of skin cancer. The cancerous tissue is cut out, along with some of the surrounding healthy skin when appropriate.

Mohs surgery

Used for basal and squamous cell carcinomas, Mohs surgery is often done when the skin cancer is good-sized, recurring, or hard to treat. Thin layers of skin are removed and examined under a microscope until no cancer cells are seen. This method allows as much skin as possible to be saved and is useful for areas like the nose.

Curettage and electrodessication 

Also a good choice for basal and thin squamous cell carcinomas, this procedure involves scraping away layers of cancer cells then using an electric needle.  

Radiation therapy

When the cancer can't be totally eradicated by surgery, radiation therapy with high-powered energy beams like X-rays can destroy the cancer cells.


In some cases, chemotherapy creams or lotions can be applied to the skin when the cancer is only on the top layer. When it has spread to other places in the body, systemic chemotherapy can be used.

Photodynamic therapy

With this procedure, skin cancer cells are destroyed using both laser light and medications that make them sensitive to light.

Biological therapy

This type of cancer therapy harnesses the body's immune system to eradicate the cancer cells.

Whether you suspect skin cancer or have an official diagnosiscall us today at 805-214-6903 (Ventura) or 805-221-8789 (Camarillo) to make an appointment and let us use our expertise to help determine what treatment protocol is best for you. Remember, early detection is always key to a less invasive treatment. 

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