There are several treatments for skin cancer all of which are highly successful in the majority of patients. The type, location and size of your skin cancer will affect the choice of treatment. A biopsy will give important information about the type and depth of the skin cancer, some forms of skin cancer if only superficial, may be treated with specific creams or freezing with liquid nitrogen. If surgery is chosen there are two parts to treatment:
- The surgical removal of the skin cancer
- The surgical repair of the area
Reconstructing eyelids is very specialised and intricate surgery. It is important to ensure all cancer cells have been removed before reconstructing the area. There are two methods that Dr Wilcsek uses when dealing with basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma:
- Frozen section pathology
- MOHs surgery (see separate section on MOHs surgery)
When frozen section is used, a pathologist sets up a mobile laboratory at the day surgery. During surgery the area that appears to be involved with the skin cancer is removed. This specimen is given to the pathologist who will "snap-freeze", and examine the edges of the specimen to ensure that the skin cancer has been removed entirely.
When the pathologist is happy that the skin cancer is removed, Dr Wilcsek will reconstruct the area. The reconstruction techniques required will vary depending on the amount of tissue loss and specific location of tissue loss.