When diagnosed and treated early, skin cancer is the easiest of all cancers to cure, according to the Skin Care Foundation. The overall survival rate at the five-year mark for those afflicted with melanoma is 98 percent when detected before the tumor has metastasized to other parts of the body.
The most common skin cancer treatments include surgery, radiation treatment and chemotherapy, according to the National Cancer Institute. These treatments may be used on their own or in conjunction with other treatments, depending on the stage of the cancer and other factors.
Surgery may include micrographic surgery that cuts the tumor away from the skin in thin layers; doctors generally use this type of surgery to remove facial skin cancers. Cryosurgery is also sometimes used to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue, including tissue from carcinoma in situ. Laser surgery and dermabrasion are other surgical options, notes the National Cancer Institute.
Radiation therapy utilizes high-energy X-rays or other radiation to kill off cancer cells or to halt their growth. Radiation can be external, which is delivered via a machine to the outside of the body, or it can be internal. Usually, chemotherapy is administered by mouth or delivered intravenously, notes the National Cancer Institute.