Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. And the Lynn Cancer Institute experts use personalized care plans to treat more skin cancer than any other center in the area.
When we find skin cancer early, treatment is most effective. From screening to diagnosis to treatment, the Institute takes a comprehensive approach to detecting and treating skin cancer in its earliest stages.
What type of skin cancer does the Institute treat?
The specialists at the Institute treat all types of skin cancer, including:
- Basal cell carcinoma – the most common type of skin cancer, found on the areas of the skin with the most sun exposure
- Squamous cell carcinoma – cancer most often due to chronic sun exposure and appears in the top layers of the skin
- Melanoma – the most serious skin cancer, forms in the skin’s pigment cells and can spread quickly to other areas of the body
- Merkel cell (also called neuroendocrine) carcinoma – a rare cancer that forms in cells very close to nerve endings in the skin
Each skin cancer has its own risk factors, symptoms, prevention methods and treatment options. Our skin cancer specialists develop your individual treatment plan based on the type of cancer you have, its location and stage, as well as your genetic makeup and overall health.
How do the specialists at the Institute diagnose skin cancer?
At the Institute, our skin cancer specialists work together to accurately screen and diagnose skin cancer in its earliest stages.
Skin cancer is screened and often diagnosed during a visit with your dermatologist. The dermatologist looks for suspicious spots on your skin and notes the size, shape, color and texture of each. If your dermatologist suspects cancer, they will recommend diagnostic testing to determine if cancer is present.
Sometimes, a patient will find a new spot or mole or one that has changed in size, shape or color over time. In those cases, experts at the Institute will screen for skin cancer and conduct diagnostic tests if needed.
Diagnostic testing for skin cancer includes:
- Biopsy – to examine the tissue under a microscope to determine if cancer is present
- Sentinel node biopsy – to examine your lymph nodes to see if cancer has spread beyond the initial tumor location
- Imaging tests – to detect the size and location of the cancer and if it has spread, including:
- CT scan
- PET scan
How do the specialists at the Institute treat skin cancer?
Immediately after diagnosis, our skin cancer specialists work together to determine the best treatment for you. We can treat most skin cancer cases with outpatient surgery. More aggressive skin cancers, like melanoma or Merkel cell carcinoma, need more extensive treatments.
Depending on your personalized care plan, skin cancer treatment can include one or a combination of the following:
- Immunotherapy – to help your immune system find and attack cancer cells
- Chemotherapy – to target and destroy cancer cells with anti-cancer drugs
- Radiation therapy – using beams of radiation to target and destroy cancer cells, including:
- External beam radiation therapy (EBRT)
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
- Surgery – to remove cancer cells