Non melanoma skin cancer
Before a non-melanoma skin cancer, we can use different techniques to eliminate it according to the location and according to the type of injury.
- Surgery: Conventional surgery is the most common technique for treating basal cell and squamous carcinoma.
- Mohs surgery or micrograph: is used when the tumor is located in sensitive areas (such as nose, eyes, mouth). It consists of cutting the tumor where it’s and without closing the wound, the edges are analyzed to know if the tumor is still or has been totally extirpated. It’s a process that requires that, in addition to a surgeon, a pathologist should intervene to confirm the complete or non-complete disappearance of the tumor. If there is still a tumor on the edges of the surgery, the surgeon re-cuts and reanalyzed, until the malignant lesion is completely removed. At this moment the wound is closed by the surgeon with the maximum guarantees of cure. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia and can take between two to three hours depending on the injury.
- Photodynamic Therapy: is a technique that is performed on an outpatient basis in the clinic and allows the treatment of premalignant lesions (actinic keratosis) and the superficial basal cell carcinoma without the need for surgery. The procedure consists of the application of a topical drug in the area to be treated and allowed to act for 3 hours. During this time, the active substance selectively penetrates into the tumor cells causing the tumor to become sensitive to red light. Therefore, when these cells are illuminated with the light of the photodynamic therapy, it’s possible to eliminate them totally respecting at all times the healthy cells and without need of surgery.
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Melanoma skin cancer
Conventional surgery is the only therapy of choice. The biopsy performed previously provides information on the depth of the lesion and this allows the surgeon to know if the procedure should be more or less deep.
If the tumor is very deep it will be required, depending whether the lymph nodes have been or haven’t been invaded by the melanoma, perform a Centrelle Ganglion study. If the lymph nodes have been affected, a genetic study of melanoma will be performed to determine whether or not the patient requires treatment with Monoclonal Antibodies (Vemurafenib).
If melanoma has invaded beyond the lymph nodes (lung, liver, brain) then Immune treatments (ipilimumab, pembrolizumab) should be used.
Currently, vaccines for melanoma are being discussed as a new perspective. It’s a treatment that is in the experimental phase but very promising, since it will extend the life of patients who are in an advanced stage of the disease, such as a lymphatic and/or visceral invasion.