Current options for treating non-melanoma skin cancer

Valencia Thomas, MD, MHCM, discusses the current landscape regarding nonmelanoma skin cancer.

Valencia Thomas, MD, MHCM, Department of Dermatology, Division of Internal Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the current nonmelanoma skin cancer landscape.

Non-melanoma skin cancer affects millions of people each year, with some of the most common being basal cell carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma, Thomas said. However, a lot of time and focus is put into the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma because of its high morbidity.

At the recent National Comprehensive Cancer Network Annual Meeting, Thomas co-hosted a session with other experts on managing patients with aggressive nonmelanoma skin cancer. The session highlighted a variety of recent innovations in the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer, as well as common and rare tumours.


0:08 | We focus our session on those advanced or aggressive non-melanoma skin cancers that either didn’t read the book and went away after the first treatment, or those that started with an advanced detection. For example, 25-35% of Merkel cell carcinomas are already present in the lymph node at the time of biopsy. Although some of these cancers are rare or aggressive, we have several treatment options, several different surgical treatment options, radiation options, and systemic options that, either alone or in combination, can offer patients a wonderful chance for a cure.

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