Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Treatment in Austin, TX

With more people diagnosed with skin cancer every year in the U.S. than every other form of cancer combined, the skin cancer epidemic is a rapidly rising and growing threat. In fact, estimates suggest that 1 out of 5 Americans is going to have some form of skin cancer before age 70. Due to the disease’s widespread prevalence, it is important to have a general understanding of skin cancer in the event you may need treatment. At Tru-Skin Dermatology, we are proud to offer an extensive array of skin cancer treatments, as well as skin cancer screenings throughout the year in different Central Texas locations.

Skin cancer types

Defined as the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells, skin cancer is generally a locally destructive malignant skin growth. It starts in the epidermis cell, but it rarely metastasizes (spreads to other body parts) to become life threatening.

There are two main groups of skin cancers, non-melanoma and melanoma. The main types of skin cancer are:

  • Basal cell carcinoma (non-melanoma)
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (non-melanoma)
  • Malignant melanoma (melanoma)

The two most prevalent types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma makes up nearly 3 out of 4 skin cancers and grows slowly, while squamous cell carcinoma grows faster and has a larger chance of spreading. However, these non-melanoma skin cancers are almost never life-threatening and do not spread far beyond the skin.

Melanoma has the potential to be much more aggressive and potentially life threatening. It starts within skin cells that produce pigment (known as melanocytes), but is far less prevalent than the non-melanoma skin cancers. Melanoma may begin as a birthmark or mole in dark skin tissue and may show up almost anywhere, ranging from the arm, leg, palm, foot sole, or mucus linings (such as the mouth). While it is not hard to detect and can be easily cured (it has a 98% cure rate if detected during the earliest stages), melanoma does grow much faster and can spread to other body parts beyond the skin if not detected and treated.

What causes skin cancer and who commonly gets it?

One of the primary things that leads to skin cancer is spending excessive time in the sun. Sunlight’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are able to mutate the DNA in skin cells, which could potentially lead to cancer. UV rays can also be found in sunlamps and tanning booths.

The lighter your skin, the more likely you are to get skin cancer, as you will have less protective melanin. Skin cancer is most likely to affect people who:

  • Have red hair
  • Are blond with blue eyes
  • Have pigment disorders
  • Have many freckles or moles
  • Live in areas of extreme sunlight

However, people with darker skin may also get skin cancer, although it usually will show up in lighter areas of the body, such as fingernails. Before age 49, white women are more likely to develop melanoma, but after 50, a higher proportion of men are likely to develop the disease.

Skin cancer treatment options

At Tru-Skin Dermatology, we are proud to offer an extensive array of skin cancer treatments, as well as free skin cancer screenings for patients without insurance throughout the year in different Central Texas locations. After an in-depth examination and interview, we will be able to provide you with the most advanced surgical and nonsurgical options, which are as minimally invasive and as pain free as possible.

Surgical treatment options

Various surgical options are available for skin cancer treatments, dependent on many factors such as your surgical and medical history and type of skin cancer. All of our Tru-Skin Dermatology offices have many years of experience and will complete your skin care surgery with maximum comfort and effectiveness.

  • Mohs surgery: The most advanced and highly effective skin cancer surgery available, Mohs has a 99% cure rate for basal cell carcinoma and 95% for squamous cell carcinoma—the highest for any surgical procedure. As the gold standard for skin cancer, Mohs leaves slight scarring and is done on site with local anesthesia in one visit. Physicians identify the tumor throughout skin layers and are able to precisely and exactly remove them, leaving other skin cells and tissue unharmed.
  • Skin biopsy/mole removal: After one of our free cancer screenings, we may do a biopsy over a small sample of suspicious skin. We numb the area so you will feel no pain, remove a small sample of skin to diagnose it and identify if it is cancerous or benign, and then set up your next appointment.
  • Curettage: During this procedure, the tumor is numbed and scraped with a sharp instrument known as a curette. The edge is cauterized with an electric needle, which makes it a quick process. However, the scar may be more visible than after Mohs surgery.
  • Surgical excision: After numbing the tumor area, the tissue that includes the tumor is removed and the wound is closed with sutures. If the tumor is larger in size, skin grafts will be used. With a cure rate in the 90th percentile, surgical excision allows an in-depth examination of the specimen to ensure the tumor has been successfully removed.

Other surgical options include chemical peels and freezing. For more detailed information, contact our experienced team at Tru-Skin Dermatology for our unparalleled pain-free and effective approach to dealing with skin cancer. A portion of all patient visits and services is donated to The Shade Project, a skin cancer prevention nonprofit initiative started by Daniel J. Ladd, DO, President of the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD), and his wife. Call us at (512) 451-0139 to book an appointment today.

Nonsurgical treatment options

We offer GentleCure Superficial Radiation Therapy (Image-Guided SRT)—the surgery-free, gold-standard treatment for skin cancer. On your first visit, we will review your pathology report, discuss your treatment goals, and work with you to determine the treatment option that best meets your needs.

GentleCure is a gentle, surgery-free treatment that is safe and has a 99%+ cure rate in basal and squamous cell skin cancers. Treatment is done right in the dermatology office over the course of a few weeks using an advanced Image-Guided SRT machine. It is the only skin cancer treatment with ultra-sound imaging that lets you see the cancer on the screen and review the progress made throughout the course of treatment until there are no visible signs of cancer.

GentleCure is designed to treat skin cancer without the discomfort and cosmetic issues often associated with surgery. There is no cutting, surgical scarring, or need for reconstructive surgery, and you can maintain your normal daily activities throughout treatment.

  • In 2021, chart reviews were conducted for 1632 patients who had Image-Guided
    SRT to treat one or more early-stage basal or squamous cell skin cancers. Of
    those patients, 2917 skin cancers in total were treated. The results showed a
    3% cure rate with Image-Guided SRT, which we believe to be equal to or
    better than Mohs surgery.
  • In 2022 and 2023, additional studies were published that showed the efficacy
    and safety of Image-Guided SRT to be superior to non-image-guided forms of
    radiation therapy across skin cancer types—confirming its use as a first-line
    treatment for basal and squamous cell skin cancers. This means doctors and
    patients should give equal consideration to Mohs surgery and surgery-free
    Image-Guided SRT as standards of care.

There are several different radiation-based treatments available for skin cancer. But the safety, cure rates, and cosmetic outcomes vary based on the treatment technology and clinical protocols used. We chose GentleCure because it is the only skin cancer treatment with advanced imaging that lets us see and measure the cancer and adapt the dose to precisely what you need at each stage of treatment. It has also been shown to be the safest and most effective of all radiation-based treatments for skin cancer with superior cosmetic results.

If you are considering radiation therapy to treat your skin cancer, make sure you are getting GentleCure with adaptive radiotherapy protocols. It’s the safe, effective, and gentle way to treat skin cancer using the most advance treatment technology available today.

After Treatment:

At the two-week follow-up visit after treatment was completed, the outside of the ear shows no signs of cancer. The ultrasound image shows that GentleCure continued to eliminate the cancer. At the 30-week follow-up appointment, the ultrasound image showed no signs of cancer

When X-ray energy is used to kill cancer cells, your body will replace the dead cancer cells with healthy tissue over time. There is no surgical scarring and no need for reconstructive surgery. There is, however, a small risk of skin atrophy (thinning of the skin) and pigment changes (changes in the color of the skin) at the treatment site. Other potential side effects may include skin inflammation with redness and swelling at the treatment site. Topical creams or ointments can be used over the course of treatment to
minimize these side effects, and the side effects usually go away 2-to 6-weeks after treatment is complete. There is also a risk of alopecia (hair loss) in the treated area only.

  • In the 7 years that patients have been receiving GentleCure, there
    have been NO reported cases of secondary skin cancers occurring as a result of

GentleCure is a safe and effective, surgery-free treatment for nonmelanoma skin cancers. It is the only skin cancer treatment that is done right in the dermatology office. GentleCure is covered by most health
insurance plans. Best of all, GentleCure is a clinically appropriate treatment option for the majority of people diagnosed with basal cell, squamous cell, and other types of skin cancer.

For more resources regarding IG-SRT, visit GentleCure.

Other surgical options include chemical peels and freezing. For more detailed information, contact our experienced team at Tru-Skin Dermatology for our unparalleled pain-free and effective approach to dealing with skin cancer. Call us at (512) 451-0139 to book an appointment today.

Skin Cancer Infographic