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Skin Cancer Chemotherapy  

Skin cancer is a very common type of cancer and generally one of the most easily treated forms of cancer.  However early detection and proper treatment are very important to provide the most effective results.  There are a number of treatments which may be used to address the threat of skin cancer.  We will focus on a key form of treatment called skin cancer chemotherapy. 

Very simply chemotherapy involves the use of special medications which are designed to recognize cancer cells and then attack and destroy them.  The medications may be ingested or taken through the bloodstream.  And there are different medications which have been shown to be effective in treating various forms of skin cancer. 

However in the case of skin cancer, most of the medications used to treat this disease are applied topically as a lotion or crème directly to the cancerous areas of the skin.  This helps to ensure that the active ingredients in this type of treatment are placed in very close proximity to the cancerous areas so that they can be most effective.  It also helps to provide maximum dosage to the cancer while limiting exposure to other healthy cells located nearby. 

And while surgical removal of the areas of the skin which are diagnosed with cancer, skin cancer chemotherapy may be a viable alternative especially if the cancer has grown too large to be surgically removed or if there are new cases which keep reappearing. 

This type of treatment may also be used in addition to surgical treatments.  In this case the skin cancer chemotherapy may be used to help to ensure that any remaining cancer cells are eliminated following a surgical removal of the affected area.  The goal is to significantly reduce the chances of the cancer cells reappearing again at a later time. 

The typical treatment would entail applying the anticancer drugs to the skin one or two times a day for several weeks.  A drug called fluorouracil is often used to treat basal cell and squamous cell cancers which are in the early stages and remain only in the top layers of the skin.  For more extensive cancer, other treatments or anti- drugs would be required. 

The drugs used to treat the skin cancer are very powerful and do a great job of attacking and killing cancer cells.  They can unfortunately do a great job of attacking and killing healthy cells as well.  So it’s important to manage the dosage and frequency of use in order to minimize the impact to other cells. 

But some common side effects which should be noted can include the following: 

  • Skin which turns red or becomes swollen following the application of anti-cancer drugs 
  • Skin which can become itchy, ooze fluids or cause a rash to develop 
  • And skin which is especially sensitive to exposure from the sun. 

These side effects usually go away once treatment has stopped. This why it is sometimes necessary to implement a course of treatment and then stop for a while to give the healthy tissues a chance to recover and recuperate.