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Skin Cancer

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University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center Provides Personalized Care for Patients with Skin Cancer

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with skin cancer, we understand the anxiety you must feel. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. and affects about two million Americans annually. UH Seidman Cancer Center’s physicians and skin care specialists are experts at diagnosing and treating skin cancer, working together to tailor skin cancer treatment to meet each patient’s individual needs.

Nationally Recognized Skin Cancer Program

UH Seidman Cancer Center is a nationally recognized cancer program with expertise in both routine and complex care for every stage of skin cancer, with five-year survival rates that have exceeded the national average for more than 20 years. UH Seidman Cancer Center is part of the National Cancer Institute-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and is one of an elite group of 41 comprehensive cancer hospitals nationwide. This is the highest honor a cancer center can receive.

Cancer Treatment Team Puts Patients First

Our team approach to care offers patients the expertise of specialists who work to create individualized treatment plans according to a patient’s unique needs. The team includes surgical, medical and radiation oncologists, dermatological surgeons, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, oncology nurses, dietitians and social workers. These experts work together in a multidisciplinary team to create the best solution possible.

Skin Cancers We Treat

Our dedicated team of cancer specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating the following types of skin cancer:

  • Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
  • Cutaneous T cell and B cell lymphoma (CTCL, CBCL)
  • Melanoma
  • Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC)
  • Rare adnexal neoplasms: apocrine, eccrine, hair follicle and sebaceous tumors
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

Advanced Treatments for Excellent Patient Outcomes

Our team offers a powerful combination of traditional and novel skin cancer treatments. Treatment options include chemoprevention to prevent infection and immunotherapy. Whenever possible, our doctors recommend minimally invasive surgery to help reduce pain, scarring and recovery time.

UH Seidman Cancer Center specialists employ the following advanced techniques to identify and destroy skin cancers, including melanoma:

  • Digital MoleMap technology: enables early detection of melanoma
  • Photodynamic therapy: involves the use of photosensitive chemicals and controlled lasers
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy: a procedure in which only the sentinel node is removed to determine whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes
  • Interferon therapy: interferon is a protein produced in your body to help fight disease; recent studies show that it can stop the growth and spread of cancer cells
  • Interleukin-2 (IL-2) immunotherapy: boosts the body's natural ability to fight threats to the immune system
  • Excisional surgery
  • Mohs micrographic surgery: surgery where a doctor removes skin growth by layers, examining each layer under the microscope, until no abnormal cells remain

Biological Therapy Supports Strong Defense Against Skin Cancer

In addition to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, we also offer biological therapy. This technique uses cellular hormones called cytokines to boost the immune system and help the body fight cancer. The most commonly used biological therapy is alpha interferon, which appears to transform the proteins on the surface of cancer cells while slowing their growth. Research suggests that alpha interferon increases the cancer patient’s chance of survival.

Skin Cancer Clinical Trials

UH Seidman Cancer Center has many available clinical trials for patients with skin cancer, giving patients access to novel treatments that may not yet be available at other cancer hospitals.