Skip to content

Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer: Comparing Treatments

Font Size

Topic Overview

Most nonmelanoma skin cancer can be cured if it is found and treated early. The goal of treatment is to completely remove the cancer. But the method of removal will differ depending on the experience of your doctor and the type of cancer you have.

Advantages and disadvantages of common treatments for nonmelanoma skin cancer
Treatment Advantages Disadvantages

Cryosurgery

  • Minimal equipment needed
  • Simple to perform
  • Cost-effective
  • No restriction of activity after surgery
  • Margin around cancer may not be free of cancer
  • Moderately painful
  • Slow healing
  • Potential for scarring
  • No skin tissue for diagnosis

Curettage and electrosurgery

  • Minimal equipment needed
  • Simple to perform
  • Cost-effective
  • No restriction of activity after surgery
  • Margin around cancer may not be free of cancer
  • Slow healing
  • Potential for scarring

Excision

  • Margin around cancer more likely to be free of cancer
  • Tissue available for diagnosis
  • More rapid healing
  • Good cosmetic results
  • Healthy skin tissue around cancer (margin) must be removed
  • Activity restriction after surgery if skin graft or flap is needed

Mohs micrographic surgery

  • Best chance of margins free of cancer
  • Healthy skin tissue is preserved
  • Tissue available for diagnosis
  • Highest cure rates
  • Good cosmetic results
  • Specialized training and facilities needed
  • Increased cost
  • Takes more time to make sure margins are free of cancer
  • Activity restriction after surgery if skin graft or flap is needed
1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 02, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer: Comparing Treatments Topics

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

man rubbing painful knee
Causes, warning signs.
feet
Solutions for 19 types.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
Live and thrive.
couple kissing
What do you know about locking lips?
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
woman standing behind curtains
How it affects you.
brain scan with soda
Tips to avoid complications.
disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
man with problem
Symptoms, causes, treatments.
woman dreaming
What Do Your Dreams Say About You?
two male hands
Understanding RA.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.