Since only dermatologists have sufficient experience in diagnosing skin tumors, only they can make the right decision on whether a skin tumor needs to be removed and with how much of a safety margin if removal is indicated.
A skin tumor does not always mean skin cancer, it also can be benign. Benign skin tumors like skin tags, cysts and lipomas can be painful or due to their location, disfigure one’s appearance especially in the face or the scalp. Removal can be easily performed under local anaesthesia.
In addition to the complete removal of a tumour, the aesthetic result after tumor surgery is an important consideration for the patient. Most operations can be performed under local anaesthesia, but of course there is always the possibility to operate under general anaesthesia or sedation. However, since dermatology is also a conservative specialty, it is part of the dermatologic DNA to avoid the scalpel where possible and feasible.
Thus, dermatological research has been leading the way in the development and refinement of alternative methods of tumor surgery. Physical methods such as cryotherapy, laser applications and photodynamic therapy are just as much a part of the dermato-oncologic treatment options as are modern drug therapies with immunomodulating agents or inhibitors of cellular signal transduction pathways.