Frequently Asked Questions
18. If I do need to seek treatment for skin cancer, what are my options?
Different types of treatment are available for patients with skin cancer. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials.
Four types of standard treatment are used: surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy, and immunotherapy. Another therapy, biologic therapy, is one of many therapies currently being tested in clinical trials.
These standard cancer treatments work in different ways.
- Surgery removes the cancer.
- Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drugs to kill cancer cells or stop their growth.
- Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
- Photodynamic therapy uses a drug and a type of laser light to kill cancer cells.
- Immunotherapy, which is newer, uses the patient's own immune system to fight the cancer.