The types of chemotherapy used for treating skin cancer

The types of chemotherapy” may be in reference to the way it is administered or the type of chemotherapy drug used.

For squamous cell skin cancer it is usually administered through a vein (intravenously).

Having the chemotherapy into a vein is used for treating squamous cell cancer and other types of skin cancer that have spread from its starting point to other body organs.

This is the treatment I received. Mine had spread inward from tumors on my neck to my throat.

If I’m asked the question, what is chemotherapy? ...and what are the types of chemotherapy? …I’d start off saying simply refers to drugs used for cancer treatment.

The drug that was used for me was Cisplatin. Further down, I will give a list of chemotherapy drugs most commonly used for treating squamous cell carcinoma.

This was my first treatment for skin cancer and it was followed by a major surgery and then radiation. Finally I was 100% cancer free and it has not returned in 20 years. Thank God!

A closer look at what is chemotherapy and the types of chemotherapy

• Injection into a vein (intravenously).

For treating squamous cell cancer and other types when they spread inward to other organs.

My treatment lasted for a few days and then I was given a month off and returned for another round. This is pretty standard.

I understand this is still an experimental treatment, but it did a lot for me.

• Topical chemotherapy or chemotherapy cream.

This drug is called Fluorouracil (5FU). With this drug, in the form of a cream, very little of it is absorbed into the body.

It treats the cells where it is applied.

It is used when the skin cancer is only on the top layer of the skin – superficial.

• There may be some cases when tablets may be used.

Here’s a list of chemotherapy drugs used to treat squamous cell carcinoma.

• Cisplatin.

• Doxorubicin (Adriamycin).

• 5FU (fluorouracil)

• Mitamycin C

There are side effects that come with chemotherapy

They vary depending on which drug you are given, the amount you are given and how you, individually, react to the drugs.

Some people react more than others and not everybody gets every side effect associated with every drug. Different drugs have different side effects. It can't be said exactly what will happen to you.

So for me, the types of chemotherapy given were Cisplatin given intravenously.

The side effects I experienced were fatigue, nausea at times, loss of hair, anemia, weakened skin tissue on my arms where the drug was injected, and heightened ringing in my ears.

The ringing in my ears, for me, started faintly after a loud noise back in the 60's. Upon the very first treatment soon after they began injecting chemotherapy, the ringing became stronger. I didn’t worry about it much because I figured it would die down.

It did a little, but they still ring today.

I have to say that I got adjusted to it real soon and didn’t notice it was there, unless I thought about it and paid attention to it. The same is true today.

My arms, still today, have very weak skin tissue (due to the Cisplatin injected in them), to the point where I brush up against anything too hard, even a piece of fabric, and the top layer of skin will peal off and bleed.

I most definitely attribute this to the chemotherapy. I did not have a complete chemotherapy recovery, but, YES, I’ve had a complete skin cancer recovery.

I doubt that such long lasting effects are the case with everybody and I am definitely not complaining.

I’m happy to be here and tell My Story.

Many who are treated with any of the types of chemotherapy do experience a complete chemotherapy recovery. My goal is that you may also experience a complete `skin cancer` recovery, as well, or hopefully you can prevent it in the first place.

Through my own experiences and the experiences of others, I hope to accomplish this.

Take care of yourself, do the best you can to achieve and maintain good health, avoid excessive UV exposure , do Self Exams , enjoy your life and laugh!

Links related to Types of Chemotherapy:
Fluororacil - Chemotherapy Cream
Radiation Treatments
Side Effects of Radiation
Skin Cancer Surgery
Mohs Surgery
Alternative Medicine

Return from Types of Chemotherapy to Treatments for Skin Cancer
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Updated July 1, 2015


Hi! My name is Nick and I’m 56 yrs. old and this is part of my story. Let me tell you, I was like a lot of people out there and I had no idea that skin cancer was anything bad. I had Basal cell back in 2007, but that was no big deal and it was removed and that was the end of that. No one told me that it was a type of skin cancer (I looked it up on my computer). But still no big deal, it would not kill me.
But I did know the word "Melanoma"....." --by Nick

Read more of Nick's Story

Scared to Death!!! - by Shelly

Our Cancer Stories are so similar, mine and Gary's! - by Valerie  

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Bottom Line
The Weather Channel has done well posting this information and photos to help you spot skin cancer, including melanoma.
It can be hard to spot, even for a professional.
The bottom line is to get an expert's opinion about any suspicious mole or lesion on your skin. If necessary, get a second opinion  and/or request a biopsy. it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t put your very life at risk!