Skin Cancer Treatment
in Rolling Meadows, IL
If you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer, Arlington Dermatology offers a range of skin cancer treatments to help you eliminate cancerous and precancerous growths. After diagnosis, it’s essential to perform treatment in a timely manner in order to prevent the cancer from spreading. Located in Rolling Meadows, we welcome patients from Prospect Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine and the surrounding areas of Illinois.
Conditions We Treat
At Arlington Dermatology, we specialize in versatile skin cancer treatments that can be used to treat a range of skin cancer diagnoses and precancerous growths. We offer treatments for:
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Merkel cell carcinoma
- Actinic keratoses (AKs)
What Type of Skin Cancer Requires Surgery?
Most types of skin cancer can be effectively treated with surgery. Surgical techniques enable the complete removal of cancerous skin cells with a high success rate. The extent of surgery needed depends on factors like the size and depth of the skin cancer. Simple excision is often sufficient for small, shallow lesions. Larger or deeper tumors may require excision with grafting or flap procedures to reconstruct the skin. Mohs surgery is sometimes used to remove skin cancers layer by layer. However, if you have basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or any pre-cancerous condition that hasn’t spread beyond the skin, you may be eligible for non-surgical treatment. We advocate for non-surgical alternatives when it is appropriate to do so, as it saves patients the time, money, and recovery periods involved with surgical procedures.
What Non-Surgical Skin Cancer Treatments are Available?
At Arlington Dermatology, we offer several non-surgical treatments for skin cancer. These treatment options give patients a high success rate for eliminating cancerous growths, while eliminating the need for invasive techniques.
This treatment, also known as cryosurgery, involves freezing and killing pre-cancerous cells, including actinic keratosis (AK). Your dermatologist applies liquid nitrogen to the affected area, repeating the treatment multiple times in one visit to ensure thorough coverage. Once the dead skin thaws, the area swells, blisters, and crusts over. The wound may take one to two months to fully heal, possibly draining fluid during this time. Cryotherapy leaves a scar, and the skin may have less pigment following treatment.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
PDT is effective against AKs. It’s a two-step treatment that begins by applying a special liquid or gel to the affected area. The medicine collects in the tumor cells over several hours or days, which makes the cells sensitive to certain wavelengths of light. The second step, then, is to focus a special light source on the tumor and kill the pre-cancerous cells. For large treatment areas, it’s even possible to activate the drug by simply stepping out into the sunlight for a predetermined amount of time.
This treatment is only effective for tumor cells located on or near the skin’s surface, so it’s most often used against AKs and some basal and squamous cell skin cancers. Normally, chemotherapy is administered by mouth or intravenously. However, topical chemotherapy is anti-cancer medicine applied directly to your skin once or twice a day for several weeks. A topical application prevents the drug from spreading throughout your body. Therefore, it has fewer side effects than systemic forms of chemotherapy.
Immune Response Modifiers
Drugs that boost the immune system can help your body fight cancer more effectively. Immune response modifiers are available in cream form, which is applied to AKs and early basal cell cancers. You can also find them in an injectable form, which boosts the immune response against tumors not located directly on the skin.
While it is referred to as laser “surgery”, this treatment doesn’t actually involve scalpels or cutting into the skin. Instead, it uses laser energy to destroy skin tissue. This technique is used to remove AKs and some types of basal and squamous cell carcinomas.
This approach is sometimes used to treat AKs. It involves applying a chemical to the skin cancer cells, which kills the tumor after several days.
What is the Most Common Treatment for Skin Cancer?
The most common treatment for skin cancer is surgery. It is the most common treatment because it can generally be used to effectively eliminate all types of skin cancer. It is highly effective because surgeons are able to remove all cancerous skin cells with a high degree of certainty. Surgery is typically done for basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Mohs surgery is an advanced surgical technique that removes the skin cancer layer by layer, minimizing the damage done to the healthy skin cells in the treatment area. Common non-surgical treatment options are typically reserved for early-stage skin cancers, and include prescription creams, laser therapy, cryotherapy, and photodynamic therapy (PDT).
How Much Does Skin Cancer Treatment Cost?
The cost of skin cancer treatment can vary considerably based on the type and extent of treatment needed. Health insurance often covers a significant portion of skin cancer treatment costs, but you may still be responsible for some out-of-pocket expenses depending on the treatment and your health insurance coverage. During your consultation at Arlington Dermatology, we’ll develop a skin cancer treatment plan unique to your condition, and will explain all of the costs associated with it. We’ll also consider your health insurance coverage to provide you with an estimate for your skin cancer treatment cost. Be sure to check our accepted insurance plans to ensure you will receive coverage for treatment at our practice.
Early detection and treatment are key to achieving optimal success rates with skin cancer treatment. If you’ve received a skin cancer diagnosis, contact us today to schedule your consultation at Arlington Dermatology. Our practice is located in Rolling Meadows, where we welcome patients from Mt. Prospect, Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg and the nearby communities of Illinois.