Education Center

Learn more about your diagnosis

Your doctor has referred you to our Skin Cancer Center because the type of cancer you have requires a specialized surgical technique, Mohs Micrographic Surgery, to ensure the highest possible cure rate. Please explore the Skin Cancer Center to learn more about the types of skin cancer, treatment options and prevention tips.

Treatment Options

Surgical Procedures

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

This is a specialized treatment for certain skin cancers that require a specialist for their treatment. This is the most precise surgical method for skin cancer removal, with the highest cure rates for skin cancer. With this method, the surgeon excises the skin cancer and checks the tissue with a microscope while you wait. Further surgery can be performed immediately, and repair of the surgical wound is usually completed the same day.

Surgical Excision

Surgical Excision is a common treatment method for skin cancer. This is performed using a scalpel, usually an outpatient procedure. Excision of skin cancers allows the surgical margins to be checked to confirm that the skin cancer  has been completely removed. After the tissue sample is removed, it is sent out to a pathology lab to check for complete removal of the tumor. This step usually requires several days. Excision allows many skin cancers to be treated in the office as an outpatient procedure by your dermatologist or physician. At this time, surgical excision is the preferred method of treatment for malignant melanoma.

Electrodesiccation & Curettage

This method removes skin cancer by using a curette (a circular scalpel-like instrument) and electric needle. The curette scrapes  away tumor, since tumor cells are less cohesive than normal cells. The area is then treated with an electric needle to further destroy  remaining tumor cells. This method is commonly used and successful in many instances. The electrodesiccation and curettage method allows quick and simple treatment, often on the same day as a skin biopsy, when the diagnosis is almost certain.

Non-Surgical Methods

Radiation Therapy

X-rays are used to kill the cancer cells. This method also requires an estimate of the extent and size of the tumor.

Photodynamic Therapy

An investigational technique where light and chemicals are combined to kill cancer cells.

Topical Therapy

Topical treatments should be reserved for nonaggressive, superficial, small  skin cancers. Topical medications: Aldara (Imiquimod), 5-Fluorouracil (Efudex), or Carac Cream.