Patients with skin cancer get treated using surgical and non-surgical methods. Non-melanoma skin cancer and cutaneous malignant melanoma are best treated using surgeries. The preferred methods are simple excision, curettage, and Mohs surgery. Cryotherapy, photodynamic therapy (PDT), imiquimod cream, 5-fluorouracil, and diclofenac with hyaluronic gel are popular non-surgical treatments. This study evaluates the various treatment preferences in Europe.
EPIDERM project covers skin cancer treatments in 8 countries, namely Malta, Germany, Greece, Finland, Italy, Poland, Scotland, and Spain. A total of 1708 patients with skin cancers enrolled in this project. Their mean age was 68.7 years, and men constituted 60.5% of the subjects. Questionnaires helped to obtain the study variables. The data sought are sex, age, country, tumor type, anatomical location, and treatment methods. Statistical analysis using SPSS 15 software included tools, like Student t-test, Mann-Whitey U-test, Kolmogorov-Smirnov normality test, Fisher correction, univariate and multivariate models.
About 76.5% preferred surgical treatment as the first option. 64.5% wanted simple excision or curettage, followed by grafts and flaps with 22.4%. Head tumors with odds ratio 0.25 and P of 0.0001 were less likely to be surgically excised. Only in actinic keratosis, 91.4% preferred the non-surgical method. Cryotherapy, imiquimod, and PDT were desirable by 52.4%, 18%, and 12%. Diclofenac and 5-fluorouracil options attracted 4% and 5.7%.
Surgery remains the preferred treatment choice for skin cancers. Among non-surgical methods, Cryotherapy with ablative options was the primary choice over other techniques.