- How are basal and squamous cell skin cancers treated?
- Surgery for basal and squamous cell skin cancers
- Other forms of local therapy for basal and squamous cell skin cancers
- Radiation therapy for basal and squamous cell skin cancers
- Systemic chemotherapy for basal and squamous cell skin cancers
- Targeted therapy for basal and squamous cell skin cancers
- Clinical trials for basal and squamous cell skin cancers
- Complementary and alternative therapies for basal and squamous cell skin cancers
- Treating basal cell carcinoma
- Treating squamous cell carcinoma of the skin
- Treating actinic keratosis
- Treating Bowen disease
- More treatment information for basal and squamous cell skin cancers
How are basal and squamous cell skin cancers treated?
General treatment information
If you have been diagnosed with basal or squamous cell skin cancer, your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you. Depending on your situation, you may have different types of doctors on your treatment team. Many basal and squamous cell cancers (as well as pre-cancers) are treated by dermatologists – doctors who specialize in treating skin diseases. If the cancer is more advanced, you may be treated by another type of doctor, such as a surgical oncologist, medical oncologist, or radiation oncologist.
Based on the stage of the cancer and other factors, your treatment options may include:
Fortunately, most basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas can be cured with fairly minor surgery or other types of local treatments.
It’s important to discuss all of your treatment options as well as their possible side effects with your treatment team to help make the decision that best fits your needs. If there is anything you do not understand, ask to have it explained. (See the section “What should you ask your doctor about basal and squamous cell skin cancers?” for some questions to ask.)
The next few sections describe the main types of treatment used for basal and squamous cell cancers, followed by descriptions of the most common approaches for treating actinic keratosis, Bowen disease, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma.
Last Medical Review: 10/21/2013
Last Revised: 02/20/2014