A world-first trial has found patients with a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma can be spared the effects of chemotherapy and treated using surgery and post-operative radiotherapy.
Squamous cell and Basil cell are the two types of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) that make up the most common diagnosis of cancer in the United States annually. According to the ACS there are more than 3.5 million diagnoses of non-melanoma SC annually.
The important thing to remember about NMSC is that there is a low risk of it becoming more serious melanoma.
The previous standard of care for a diagnosis of squamous cell SC was to surgically removed the SC and then give the patient chemotherapy in order to kill any cancer cells that had spread into the patients system.
The study and article linked and excerpted below cite the fact that chemotherapy does no good at lengthening overall survival (OS) in squamous cell skin cancer patients.
According to the study linked and excerpted below, squamous cell SC patients should surgically remove the tumor and then undergo local radiation to the affected area.
I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. The research into skin cancers has indicated that there are a number of evidence-based non-toxic, non-conventional therapies that patients should consider undergoing after surgery and local radiation for their SC.
I have an increased risk of skin cancer because of multiple sun burns as well as aggressive chemotherapy and radiation for my treatment of multiple myeloma.
Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer at a Glance-
- Risks– UV Exposure, HPV, Genetics, Skin Pigment, Immunosuppression, Radiation Therapy, Age, Previous Skin Cancer,
- Symptoms– Itching, Bleeding, Shape (A,B,C,D,E).
- Diagnosis– Visual inspection (A,B,C,D,E), Skin Biopsy (Shave, Punch, Incisional/Excisional)
- Prognosis- Staging-
- Therapy– Conventional, Non-Conventional, Integrative, Alternative
I am not going to undergo toxic chemotherapy or radiation ever again. I will, however, undergo an evidence-based but non-toxic, non-conventional lifestyle shown to reduce my risk of pre-skin cancers from becoming melanoma.
Have you been diagnosed with skin cancer? What type? What stage? Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
- Cancer Survivor
- Cancer Coach
- Director PeopleBeatingCancer
“A world-first trial has found patients with a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma can be spared the effects of chemotherapy and treated using surgery and post-operative radiotherapy…
The head of the trial, Professor Sandro Porceddu from the Princess Alexandra Hospital, said initially the addition of chemotherapy to treat this form of skin cancer was to sensitise patients to radiotherapy…
But results of the trial revealed there was no difference in cure rates between those that received post-operative radiotherapy and others who were treated using post-operative chemo and radiotherapy…
Those on treatment plans without chemotherapy can also suffer side-effects including red skin, a sore throat, fatigue, change in taste and thickening of saliva, but Professor Porceddu said the symptoms are resolved over a six-week period…
Mr Schampers said while the results could be applied to another type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma, it would not work for melanomas or other cancers…”
“ON THIS PAGE: You will learn about the different types of treatments doctors use for people with non-melanoma skin cancer. Use the menu to see other pages.
This section explains the types of treatments that are the standard of care for this type of cancer. “Standard of care” means the best treatments known…
Surgery-Surgery is the removal of the tumor and surrounding tissue during a medical procedure. Many skin cancers can be removed from the skin quickly and easily during a simple surgical procedure. Often, no other treatment is needed.
Which surgical procedure is used depends on the type of skin cancer and the size and location of the lesion. Most of these procedures use a local anesthetic to numb the skin first…
- Curettage and electrodessication. During this common procedure, the skin lesion is removed with a curette, which is a sharp, spoon-shaped instrument. The area is then treated with an electric current that helps control bleeding and destroys any remaining cancer cells. This is called electrodessication. Many people have a flat scar after healing from this procedure.
- Mohs micrographic surgery. This technique, also known as complete margin assessment surgery, involves removing the visible tumor in addition to small fragments around the edge of the area where the tumor was located. Each small fragment is examined under a microscope until all of the cancer is removed. This is typically used for larger tumors, for those located in the head-and-neck region, and for cancers that have come back in the same place.
- Wide excision. This involves the removal of the tumor and some surrounding healthy skin and soft tissue, called a margin. How much tissue is removed depends on the type and size of the skin cancer. When a large tumor is removed, the incision may be too large to close, so surgeons may use skin from another part of the body to close the wound. This is called a skin graft.
- Reconstructive surgery. Since skin cancer often develops on a person’s face, a reconstructive (plastic) surgeon may be part of the health care team. When doctors plan treatment, they consider how treatment might affect a person’s quality of life, such as how the person feels, looks, talks, and eats. Before any surgery for skin cancer, talk with your doctor about whether changes to your appearance are possible and whether there may be functional aspects that need to be considered when developing a treatment plan.
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy. This surgical procedure, also called SLNB, sentinel node biopsy, or SNB, is often used for Merkel cell cancer. It helps the doctor find out whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
Other local treatments
To treat precancerous skin conditions or a cancerous lesion located only in the top layer of the skin, doctors may use photodynamic therapy, cryotherapy, or laser therapy.
Photodynamic therapy. This is a combination treatment for actinic keratoses (see Risk Factors and Prevention). First, a topical medication called aminolevulinic acid (Levulan) is applied over areas with many actinic keratoses. Then this area is exposed to a special light-emitting device for several minutes to a few hours. The aminolevulinic acid makes the skin very sensitive, so the procedure can be painful. Your doctor may recommend taking pain medication before the procedure. In addition, the chemical makes the skin very sensitive to the sun, so it is important to avoid sun exposure and wear protective glasses, clothing, and sunscreen for a few days after the procedure. The skin will remain very irritated for a few days, but the actinic keratoses quickly disappear once the irritation goes away.
Freezing. This procedure, which is also called cryotherapy, uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and destroy abnormal cells. It is usually used to treat precancerous skin conditions. The liquid nitrogen will sting when it is first applied to the skin, and then the skin will blister and shed off. More than 1 freezing may be needed. Sometimes this procedure leaves a scar…”
I had a growth on my leg that was determined to be keratoacanthoma. A dermatologist cut it out and sent it to pathology. I haven’t received the pathology report myself yet. The dermatologist wants me to get a shot of 5FU instead of Mohs surgery. His comment was he didn’t want it to bite me 10 years down the road. I’m 75 and not sure I’ll be alive 10 years from now. If it isn’t SCC, should I have the 5FU or should I leave it alone? If it is SCC, then what? Thanks for a reply.Reply