The standard treatment options for patients with skin cancer include surgery to remove the cancerous tumor from the skin, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy and biologic therapy, according to the National Cancer Institute. Procedures such as dermabrasion and shave excision may be used to remove layers of the skin.
Surgical treatments involve cutting the cancerous tumor from the skin as well as skin surrounding the tumor, according to the National Cancer Institute. Laser surgery and treatments to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue are also surgical options for skin cancer.
Radiation therapy involves using high-energy x-rays and radiation to kill cancer cells, according to the National Cancer Institute. Radioactive substances are injected through needles, wires or catheters, or an external radiation machine sends radiation to the skin toward the cancer. Chemotherapy is a treatment option through the use of drugs to stop cancer cells from growing and spreading. Chemotherapy can be injected into a vein or taken in pill form by mouth.
Photodynamic therapy is the process of using a drug and laser light to rid the skin of cancer cells, according to the National Cancer Institute. The drug is taken and activated when light is injected into a vein. Biologic therapy uses the patient's immune system to fight cancer, with substances from the body boosting and restoring the natural defenses against cancer or directing the cancer from the skin.