Skin cancer, the abnormal growth of skin cells, most often develops on skin exposed to the sun. But this common form of cancer can also occur on areas of your skin not ordinarily exposed to sunlight.
Treatment for skin cancer and the precancerous skin lesions known as actinic keratoses varies, depending on the size, type, depth and location of the lesions. Small skin cancers limited to the surface of the skin may not require treatment beyond an initial skin biopsy that removes the entire growth.
Excisional surgery may be appropriate for any type of skin cancer. The surgeon cuts out (excises) the cancerous tissue and a surrounding margin of healthy skin. A wide excision, removing extra normal skin around the tumor, may be recommended in some cases.
Curettage is when the surgeon scrapes away layers of cancer cells using a circular blade. An electric needle destroys any remaining cancer cells. This simple, quick procedure is common in treating small or thin basal cell cancers.
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