What You Need to Know
According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, most of which are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. However, you can protect yourself from skin cancer by:
- Wearing sunscreen – SPF 30 or higher is recommended
- Wearing protective clothes such as a shirt, hat or sunglasses
- Seeking shade when possible
Limiting your exposure to UV rays is the most important way to reduce your risk of melanoma.
Risk factors that can increase your risk of melanoma include:
- Fair skin and freckling
- Family history
- A weakened immune system
- Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP)
An unusual mole, sore, lump, or changes in the way an area of the skin looks may be a sign of melanoma.
Screening and Diagnosis
If cancer is suspected, a skin biopsy will be performed. Once a pathologist looks at the biopsy results, a team of physicians will discuss treatment options with the patient and make individual recommendations.
Our multidisciplinary team of surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists consult and collaborate to ensure treatment is optimized to meet the patient’s needs. Treatments can include surgery, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and chemotherapy.
Depending on the location, type, and stage of your skin cancer, there are many treatment options:
- Mohs surgery
- Wide local excision
- Lymphatic mapping and sentinel lymph node biopsy
- Complete lymph node removal for regional lymph node disease
- Radiation therapy
Medical therapy includes:
- Immune checkpoint inhibitors
- Targeted therapies