Our multidisciplinary physician team works together to determine the best treatment plans and clinical trials that will benefit our patients. Treatment options provided include:
Mercy's physician team offers many types of chemotherapy drugs including topical chemotherapy creams (applied to the skin) as well as systemic chemotherapy (delivered orally or via injection into the veins) to disrupt and kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be used in conjunction with other treatments to manage skin cancers.
Immunotherapy involves the stimulation of the immune system to attack cancer cells more effectively. New advances in immuno-oncology include new, lower toxicity drugs that can reduce recurrence of skin cancers and melanoma after surgery.
Isolated Limb Infusion / Isolated Limb Perfusion
Isolated limb infusion is a state-of-the-art therapy offered at only select institutions. This minimally invasive treatment delivers high dosages of chemotherapy directly to a limb where cancer has developed. Used to treat advanced soft tissue sarcoma and melanoma, isolated limb infusion can be an alternative to amputation, allowing patients to preserve the arm or leg affected by cancer.
Reconstructive techniques can be used to close larger wounds, replace skin and reduce scarring for a more natural look at the site where skin cancer has developed.
Mercy's experienced radiation oncologists offer IMRT and brachytherapy to treat a variety of skin cancers including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy
Surgical oncologists at Mercy perform sentinel lymph node biopsies to help determine cancer spread from the primary site to other areas of the body. This procedure is key to helping doctors understand how invasive the cancer is and how to treat it most effectively.
Skin cancer may require surgery. Depending of the type of cancer and stage of cancer, surgery may vary from a minor, in-office procedure to a more complex operation to remove the cancer, as well as lymph nodes, followed by reconstructive surgery.
If cancer is suspected your doctor may perform a biopsy so a trained pathologist can examine the tissue and definitively determine whether or not cancer is present.
Many skin cancers can be treated in the office with curretage and electrodessication (surgical removal), photodynamic therapy (light therapy) or cryotherapy (freezing off abnormal cells).
Mercy's physician team works closely with local colleagues to provide referrals for Mohs surgery, an in-office procedure in which one layer of skin is removed and immediately examined to determine whether or not additional layers of skin need to be removed during the same visit to fully excise the cancer.
Advanced skin cancers require an experienced surgical oncologist working in collaboration with a team of radiation and medical oncologists to best address the cancer and improve long-term survival.
Mercy's expert team offers the skill and experience needed to treat the full range of skin cancers with surgical treatment in addition to other therapies when needed.
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