Treatment for skin cancer will depend on the stage of the disease.

Sometimes, a biopsy can remove all of the cancerous tissue. Other treatments include:

  • Cryotherapy: the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze early skin cancers limited to the skin’s top layer.
  • Excisional surgery: removing the tumor and some surrounding healthy skin.
  • Mohs surgery: removing the visible, raised area of the tumor first, followed by removing a thin layer of skin cancer cells that is examined under a microscope immediately after removal, for which additional layers of tissue continue to be removed, one layer at a time, until no more cancer cells are seen under the microscope.
  • Curettage and electrodesiccation: removing cancer cells as a sharp looped edge scrapes across the tumor followed by treatment with an electric needle to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: this can include topical creams if the disease is limited to the top layer of the skin, or pills or IV if the cancer has spread.
  • Immunotherapy: treatment that uses the body’s immune system to kill cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy
  • Photodynamic therapy: coating the skin with medication and a blue or red fluorescent light then activates the medication to destroy precancerous cells while leaving normal cells alone.