Jefferson University Hospitals

Skin Cancer

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If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, the experienced team of Jefferson's Department of Dermatology and Division of Cutaneous Surgery can carefully guide you through available treatment options that address your needs. Our specialists offer skin cancer screening exams, consultative evaluations, and treatment of all types of symptomatic benign growths, pigmented lesions and skin cancers including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma.

Our specially trained faculty utilize advanced conventional, Mohs and laser surgical techniques to provide patients with the most flexible options for effective treatment of a wide range of skin conditions and for removal of skin lesions. Physicians within the Department often collaborate with the experienced team at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson.

Bringing together the expertise of Jefferson oncologists, radiation therapists, dermatologists, plastic surgeons and other specialists, your medical team will give a thorough evaluation and recommend a personalized treatment plan depending on the type of skin cancer you have, its progression and your preference.

Advanced skin cancer treatments performed at Jefferson include:

  • Mohs micrographic surgery, one of the most advanced methods used to remove cancerous skin and minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue and the risk of leaving cancerous tissue behind. This procedure is also used for cosmetically delicate locations such as the nose, ear, lip, eyelid. This sophisticated procedure requires the specialized expertise possessed by Jefferson dermatologic surgeons and is often used to treat recurrent skin cancers.
  • Cryosurgery, a procedure that destroys lesions through the application of extremely cold substances
  • Electrodesiccation and curettage, a procedure in which the surface of lesions is scraped off and the tumor is destroyed through the application of an electric needle
  • Radiation therapy, which entails the precise delivery of radiation to destroy cancerous cells, while sparing healthy tissue surrounding the tumor
  • Chemotherapy, which may involve injected or ingested medications or the application of topical creams
  • Hyperthermia, a form of thermal therapy that utilizes moderate temperature elevation to enhance the effects of radiation and chemotherapy

Breakthrough Treatments

You should know that the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson is designated a Melanoma Center of Excellence by the Melanoma Hope Network (MHN). The MHN recognizes melanoma treatment centers across the United States that offer exceptional care, knowledge and compassion for patients with advanced melanoma.

Our melanoma program is renowned for its use of immunotherapy in treating metastatic melanoma. The Center's physicians have developed breakthrough treatments for melanoma by translating research discoveries into improved patient care.

Specifically, Jefferson oncologists have helped pioneer the development of a melanoma vaccine that is created from a patient's own tumor cells, which has had well-chronicled success and is currently in clinical testing.