Treatment for skin cancer

You usually have surgery to treat skin cancer, but you might have another treatment. This depends on where your skin cancer is, how big it is and your general health. 

Treatment options for skin cancer

The main treatment for skin cancer is surgery. Depending on the size of your cancer and how far it has grown you might have a different treatment. Your doctor will talk through any possible treatments with you. 

Surgery for skin cancer

The type of surgery you have depends on where the cancer is, how big it is and how deep.

Radiotherapy for skin cancer

Radiotherapy uses high energy waves similar to x-rays to kill cancer cells. It is a treatment for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). 

Chemotherapy cream for skin cancer

Chemotherapy uses anti cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. You might have a chemotherapy cream to treat skin cancer.

Imiquimod cream (Aldara)

Imiquimod cream uses your body’s natural defences to help kill cancer cells. Find out how you have it and what the side effects are.

Targeted drugs and immunotherapy for skin cancer

Immunotherapy treatment uses your body’s natural defences (immune system) to help kill the skin cancer cells. 

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) for skin cancer

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses a drug and a special type of light to destroy skin cancer cells. 

Follow up after skin cancer treatment

Find out about the follow up you'll need after treatment for skin cancer.

Last reviewed: 
31 Jan 2023
Next review due: 
31 Jan 2026