Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Can cancer treatment cure skin cancer?"

ZocdocAnswersCan cancer treatment cure skin cancer?


I'm a 30 year old female lifeguard who was diagnosed with skin cancer. It's not very bad as of now but can treatment cure it or will it come back in the future?


The answer to your question, I would need to know exactly what type of skin cancer you were diagnosed with. There are many different types, but the most common two are squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. They tend to appear mostly on the face, shoulders, and any other sun exposed area. In people that notice new spots and spots that are changing, they tend to get noticed early in their course. In the case of squamous cell carcinoma, sometimes they are found before they are considered cancerous (known as actinic keratosis). In cases where these lesions are found early, they can be removed by a dermatologist surgically which results in a cure. In rare cases, the cancer has spread and surgery is not enough. One exception to this rule is melanoma, which often will spread undetected. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. He or she can discuss with you the implications of your skin cancer. If you had a common low grade squamous cell carcinoma or basal cell carcinoma, then these types of cancers are often removed in full without the need for additional treatment. If it is melanoma, then you course will be different. Either way, you should think about protecting your skin as much as you can to prevent these cancers from developing on other areas of your skin.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.