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Skin cancer

Dermatologists and oncologists collaborate to treat skin cancer, an abnormal growth of skin cells. Skin cancer typically occurs in skin exposed to the sun, but it can develop anywhere. There are different types of skin cancer, such as carcinoma or melanoma.

Skin cancer care in Metro Denver

If you have a skin cancer diagnosis, we help you navigate the path toward healing.

Skin cancer can usually be treated successfully when caught early. HealthONE's oncologists and specialists are experienced in the early diagnosis of all types of skin cancer. We use advanced techniques and a patient-centered approach, always striving to be the compassionate partners in care you deserve.

Have cancer questions?

We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated, confidential helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7.

We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated, confidential helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7.

Types of skin cancer we treat

Our dermatologists, oncologists and surgeons collaborate to treat skin cancer, an abnormal growth of skin cells. Although it typically occurs in skin exposed to the sun, it can develop anywhere in the body. Our skin cancer specialists treat all types of skin cancer, including:

  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Melanoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

Our skin cancer services

Early detection is key, so our skin cancer doctors — also called oncology dermatologists — help you prevent it from developing with annual visits, education and self exams. Should we find anything unusual, our collaborative approach to diagnosis and treatment aims to make you feel confident and cared for.

Preventive skin cancer

Prevention is the best medicine, which is why our doctors encourage regular skin cancer screenings. We recommend that everyone should get a full-body skin cancer screening once a year. Early detection and proper treatment of skin cancer are very important to increase the ability of curing the cancer. Our primary care physicians and skin care specialists can help guide you through skin cancer screening.

Skin self-exam

Performing self-exams can also be helpful in detecting skin cancer. When doing this type of exam, it is important to check your whole body thoroughly, not missing any areas. Pay close attention to your scalp, neck, arms and other areas on your head and face that receive a lot of sunlight. Become familiar with where your moles, birthmarks and blemishes are located and what they look like.

Bend your elbows and look carefully at your forearms, upper arms and hands. Make sure to check the undersides of these areas as well. Look at the back and front of your legs and feet. Do not forget to look in between your toes and the soles of your feet. Check your back and buttocks as well.

Diagnosing skin cancer

Using advanced diagnostic procedures, our team can determine the type of cancer, pinpoint its precise location and examine the extent to which it has spread.

Our experts may use one or more of the following to find and stage the cancer:

  • Biopsy — We offer multiple types of biopsies. These include:
    • Excision biopsy — The entire growth will be removed.
    • Punch biopsy — A tiny round piece of the growth and layers under the skin are removed.
    • Top layer biopsy — The top layer of the growth is removed.
  • Imaging tests — We use various diagnostic imaging tests, such as computerized tomography (CT), X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to see if the suspected cancer has spread.
  • Skin examination (dermoscopy) — As a skin examination is a visual look at the skin to see the size, shape, color and texture of the suspicious spot, a special microscope or magnifying lens may be used to view it more carefully.

Treatment options for skin cancers

We are committed to using advanced technology and techniques to treat your skin cancer with a personalized care plan. This plan may include:

  • Cryotherapy — Freezing and destroying the cancerous tissue
  • Dermabrasion — Using an abrasive device to rub away the cancerous cells
  • Chemotherapy — Cancer-destroying medications taken by mouth, injection or application on the skin
  • Immunotherapy — Special drugs used to help the immune system identify and attack cancer cells
  • Photodynamic therapy — Special drugs taken by mouth used in conjunction with a special light to activate the drug’s effects
  • Radiation therapy — High-energy X-rays or other radiation sources used to kill the cancer cells and prevent growth

Mohs micrographic surgery

Mohs micrographic surgery is an advanced treatment provided for skin cancer. It is typically used for the two common types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. This skin cancer surgery offers the highest potential for recovery.

Mohs surgery allows specially trained dermatologists to see beyond the visible disease and precisely identify and remove the entire tumor, leaving healthy tissue unharmed. During this procedure, each layer of cancerous tissue is removed and examined under a microscope until all cancer has been removed.

According to the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS), Mohs surgery provides the highest cure rate of all treatments for skin cancer — up to 95% — even if other forms of treatment have failed. This procedure minimizes the chance of regrowth and lessens the potential for scarring or disfigurement.

Multidisciplinary care team

We use an interdisciplinary approach that brings together medical professionals from many specialties who specialized in cancer care. This allows us to provide an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan to meet your unique needs as a patient.

Our team includes:

  • Dermatologists
  • Medical oncologists
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgeons
  • Other specialized surgeons as needed

Sarah Cannon at HealthONE Skin Cancer Awareness Seminar

Experts from Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HealthONE present a virtual seminar about skin cancer awareness, including screening information and why it's so important to talk with your physician about skin cancer prevention.

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