Skin Cancer - Treatment

The usual procedure for treating any form of skin cancer is surgery. The doctor cuts out the mole or diseased area of the skin with a scalpel. A small section of healthy tissue surrounding the cancer is also removed. The reason that healthy tissue is removed is to make sure that all cancer cells have been eliminated.

Other methods can be used to kill and/or remove a cancer also. For example, the cancer may be frozen with dry ice or liquid nitrogen. The dead tissue can then be easily removed. Radiation treatments are sometimes recommended for older people or in cases where surgery is not possible or desirable. Surgical removal of a cancer may be followed by cosmetic surgery to hide the scars left by cutting or freezing.

Basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer are generally treated successfully by these methods. Advanced cases of melanoma may require more aggressive treatment. This is especially true if the cancer has begun to spread through the body. It may be necessary, for example, to remove a person's lymph nodes if they have become cancerous. Radiation therapy may also be recommended if the melanoma has spread to other parts of the body.

Alternative Treatment

There are no generally accepted alternative treatments for skin cancer. Some practitioners recommend therapies that may reduce one's risk for getting skin cancer. For example, they suggest a diet high in antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E. Antioxidants are chemicals that may slow down the growth of cancerous cells. Herbal remedies that may prevent skin cancer include natural antioxidants, such as bilberry, hawthorn, tumeric, and ginkgo.

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