Actinic keratosis (AK) is a common premalignant skin lesion that is frequently treated by cryosurgery. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common malignancy of man, and early-stage lesions are usually cured via surgery. Advanced basal cell carcinoma may require more extensive surgery resulting in deformity, and many advanced lesions cannot be treated surgically. Several recent developments have improved therapeutic options for both conditions. Cryosurgery is still a mainstay of treatment for AK, but the introduction of effective topical agents, imiquimod cream and ingenol mebutate, has provided alternatives to cryosurgery. For advanced basal cell carcinoma, the small-molecule inhibitor vismodegib has proven to be an effective therapy for lesions that are not amenable to surgery and has demonstrated ability to achieve dramatic improvement in advanced, potentially disfiguring cancer. 2014 by Frontline Medical Communications Inc.
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