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How is squamous cell skin cancer (carcinoma) treated?
Your doctor will want to remove all of the cancer. There are several ways to remove it. It depends on how big it is, where it is on your body, and your age and overall health. Treatment options include:
Surgery to cut out the cancer.
Mohs micrographic surgery. This surgery removes the skin cancer one layer at a time, checking each layer for cancer cells right after it is removed.
Curettage and electrosurgery. Curettage uses a spoon-shaped instrument (curette) to scrape off the skin cancer, and electrosurgery controls the bleeding and destroys any remaining cancer cells.
Cryosurgery. Cryosurgery destroys the skin cancer by freezing it with liquid nitrogen.
Radiation therapy. Radiation therapy uses X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. It may be done if surgery isn’t an option.
Other treatment options include chemotherapy cream and laser surgery.
If your doctor removes the cancer, he or she will send it to a lab. The lab will make sure all the cancer was removed. If cancer is still there, you will need more treatment.
The Stanford Medicine Online Second Opinion program offers you easy access to our world-class doctors. It’s all done remotely and you don’t have to visit our hospital or one of our clinics for this service. You don’t even need to leave home!
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Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.