Slowing the spread of skin cancer.

Chemotherapy for skin cancer is a less common treatment option where the patient receives medication orally or via intravenous injections. It is rare that a physician will advise for this course of action.

What is systemic chemotherapy?

A patient will receive drugs that attempt to slow down or stop the growth of cancerous cells by disrupting the way they work. It’s a viable option for patients with cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Drugs will be injected into a vein or taken by mouth as a pill. This way, they will travel to all parts of the body through the bloodstream and attack cancer cells that have already spread beyond the skin.

Systemic Chemotherapy is a potential treatment for these types of skin cancer:

  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Melanoma

How systemic chemotherapy works.

Systemic Chemotherapy may be used alone to treat certain types of skin cancer. In some cases, it is also used in addition to other methods such as radiation therapy or surgery. A physician will administer the drug in patients with an advanced condition. 

The side effects of systemic chemotherapy.

Systemic chemotherapy is associated with a wide range of side effects that depend on the patient’s response to the treatment. They include hair loss, mouth sores, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and easy bruising or bleeding. These side effects usually subside once the treatment is finished.

Explore more treatment options.

At Kelowna Skin Cancer Clinic we offer patients a variety of treatment options. The appropriate treatment will depend on a number of factors. We’ll provide personalized advice to determine the right treatment for you.