Skin cancer is a leading disease among Australians and New Zealanders. According to a popular health site, 2 out of 3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer when they turn 70. Now, isn’t that a scary figure to wrap your head around!
Australia is struggling with skin cancer. There is no cure, but there is prevention! So how can we fight skin cancer? What are the various methods to reduce the effects of skin cancer? This article takes a bird’s eye view on this matter. Please see that there are various ways to treat different stages of skin cancer. The treatment methodology of skin cancer and actinic keratosis (precancerous skin lesions) will vary according to the nature of these lesions (size, color, height, etc.)
Also, note that the treatment of some small skin cancers won’t go beyond the initial biopsy. If you suspect you may be developing or already affected by this disease, we will suggest you visit a dermatologist or a cancer surgeon. You may consider booking an appointment by visiting this website.
In some cases, your doctor may freeze some of your skin lesion cells (cancer cells) by liquid nitrogen. This retards the growth of cancerous cells. After thawing, these cells slough off.
This treatment option manipulates your immune system to stop the spread of skin cancer. Immunotherapy is a relatively new technique in battling skin cancer. This method has arisen after cancer surgeons identified various ways in treating melanoma. Sometimes, immunotherapy involves using vaccines that contain the herpes virus.
This vaccine kills cancerous cells is quite useful. Immunotherapy also uses drugs like interferon, interleukin-2, ipilimumab, etc. These drugs stimulate the body’s immune system and attack the cancer cells. Using immunotherapy, doctors aim to weaken the melanoma cells and also immunize the patient against his cancer.
3. Chemotherapy and Radiation:
In extreme cases, where the basal and squamous cells have spread to other parts of the body, doctors use chemotherapy and radiation-based treatment to control the disease. However, doctors remove the cancerous cells by surgery before chemotherapy and radiation therapies.
Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to remove skin cancer. However, these drugs that you take may destroy other healthy cells too. Your healthy cells of the stomach, intestine, and hair might also be attacked and destroyed.
Chemo works in three different ways:
- Sometimes, it destroys all the cancerous cells so your doctor won’t be able to detect them.
- On other occasions, it controls the spread of these cells to the different parts of the body.
- Chemo can also alleviate your pain, so your quality of life becomes better.
4. Radiation Therapy:
This treatment uses sending a burst of radiation to the affected skin part. Usually, this operation doesn’t take more than 20-25 minutes, and you don’t have to be admitted into a hospital.
5. Micrographic Surgery:
During this surgical operation, various layers of the affected skin are peeled and examined under the microscope. Cancer cells are discussed, and this process repeated until no more cancer skills can be seen. This procedure is done where skin cancer has occurred in the genital areas, face, hands, palms, etc.
This process is also called elector-surgery. Here, a small spoon-shaped blade is used to cut the area affected by skin cancer. Later, a needle is inserted into the wound to treat it. This way, doctors try to control the spread of basal and squamous cancer cells.
Now that we know the various treatments available, let’s also avoid skin cancer.
- Wear protective clothing.
- Apply sunscreen
- Avoid working for too long in the sun.