The ABCDEs of skin cancer
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. And it’s curable when caught early, which is why it’s important to know the symptoms.
Skin cancer typically starts off with an abnormal mole. Talk to your doctor if you notice moles that are consistent with any of the ABCDEs of skin cancer:
- Asymmetric, meaning the shape of half the mole is not a mirror image of the other half
- Borders with irregular edges
- Color of the mole is different from one end to the other
- Diameter (size) is wider than the eraser tip of a pencil
- Evolving or changing over time, meaning it is growing or changing color
Types of skin cancer we treat
Types of skin cancer we treat include:
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Merkel cell tumors
- Soft tissue sarcoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
Skin cancer care at Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute
Our membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance brings you world-class skin cancer care close to home. You have access to new care techniques and clinical trials that are typically only available in large cities. Additional highlights of our program include:
- Surgical expertise: We help many people become cancer-free with surgery. We remove only the minimum necessary amount of tissue, so you receive effective care that minimizes scars or other changes to your appearance. Find out more about cancer surgery.
- Precise diagnosis: We are the only cancer center in the region with experts fully dedicated to diagnosing skin conditions (dermatopathologists). We determine the type of skin cancer and how serious it is so you receive care that meets your needs.
- Support: Your care team includes a nurse navigator who is available to you throughout your cancer care journey. Our navigators lend a caring ear, coordinate helpful services and make appointments for you. Read more about nurse navigators.
Treatments for skin cancer
Our multidisciplinary clinic helps you get the care that’s best for your unique circumstances. In one visit, you see multiple skin cancer experts and receive a personalized treatment plan. Find out more about multidisciplinary cancer clinics. Your care plan may include:
- Mohs surgery: This innovative form of skin cancer surgery removes cancer tissue layer by layer for the best possible results. Mohs is one of many surgical treatments we offer.
- Reconstructive surgery: We work alongside Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) plastic surgeons to minimize scarring following skin cancer surgery.
- Radiation therapy: We offer all the latest options, including intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). We use special technology to focus radiation beams to the precise shape of the cancer for added protection to nearby healthy tissue. Read more about radiation therapy.
- Cancer drugs (chemotherapy): You have access to today’s best available chemotherapy drugs. Our cancer experts recommend the drugs that are best for your circumstances and tailor the doses to help you achieve excellent results. Get more information about chemotherapy.
- Immunotherapy: Our participation in clinical trials gives you access to promising new treatments, including immunotherapy. This treatment works by “training” your immune system to recognize and rid the body of cancer cells. Read more about immunotherapy.