Making progress in skin cancer treatment

Amarillo, TX - The panhandle is making headway in the fight against skin cancer.

The FDA just approved the first treatment for basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer. Here in the panhandle, Texas Oncology is running a clinical trial for a similar pill that helps patients with advanced cases.

"Usually, it's when the patients have too many or it spreads to other organs so we need the systemic treatment," Dr. Leonardo Forero with Texas Oncology said. " It's oral, it's a pill that the patients take every day."

In its early stages, skin cancer can usually be removed through surgery. The pill Texas Oncology is testing helps keep the skin cancer from spreading when that is no longer an option.

Local doctors say people living in Amarillo can be at an increased risk for skin cancer because of its extreme heat and also because of all the outdoor jobs in its agricultural sector.