Patients with advanced skin cancers or rare, aggressive tumors often need several different forms of treatment provided by multiple specialists.
In addition to surgical removal of the cancer, these patients may require chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Specialized imaging and biopsy procedures to check nearby lymph nodes may also be necessary.
Team of Skin Cancer Specialists
The skin cancer specialists works closely with a team of experts to provide comprehensive care for patients with advanced cancers. These experts include:
- Dermatopathologists, physicians who focus on studying and diagnosing skin conditions at a microscopic, cellular level.
- Facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons who specialize in surgical repair of skin cancer wounds on the face and elsewhere on the skin
- Hematologist/oncologists who specialize in treating cancer with drugs and cellular therapies
- Oculoplastic surgeons who specialize in tumor removal and surgical reconstruction of the eye socket, eyelids, tear ducts and other areas of the eye.
- Radiation oncologists who specialize in treating cancer with radiation therapy (high-energy X-rays)
- Surgical oncologists who specialize in biopsies and surgical removal of cancer and surrounding tissue, including the lymph nodes as necessary
- Transplant dermatologists who specialize in skin care of solid organ transplant recipients
- Staged excision (also known as “slow Mohs”) for treating extensive cases of malignant melanoma.
- Surgery under general anesthesia — In some cases, patients may be more comfortable if extensive Mohs surgery is performed while they are under anesthesia. In these cases, the procedure will be performed in a hospital setting. Learn more about Mohs surgery.
- Chemotherapy — If skin cancer has spread to areas inside the body, taking cancer-fighting drugs by mouth, injection or through an IV may be necessary. Cellular therapies like immunotherapy may be appropriate options.
- Radiation therapy — Another technique for cancers that have spread from the skin to internal parts of the body is using repeated radiation exposure to gradually destroy cancer cells. Our radiation oncologists use sophisticated radiation therapy techniques and technology to treat even the most challenging cancers.
- Chemoradiation — a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be needed for certain patients to obtain an optimal outcome.
- Plastic and reconstructive surgery — Surgical repair of skin cancer wounds aims to restore full function and reduce scarring, even in the most complicated cases
- Oculoplastic surgery — Tumor removal and surgical reconstruction of areas surrounding the eye, especially of the eyelids.
- Specialized imaging and biopsy procedures — As part of eastern Wisconsin’s only academic medical center, our skin cancer team offers all of the latest diagnostic tests and procedures.
Clinical Trials Offer Patients the Latest Treatments
Our skin cancer specialists are actively involved in research aimed at improving treatment and outcomes for people with skin cancer. They participate actively in many large clinical trials of new treatment techniques and cancer drugs. Our commitment to research means patients have access to the most advanced therapies available.
Virtual Visits Are Available
Safe and convenient virtual visits by video let you get the care you need via a mobile device, tablet or computer wherever you are. We’ll gather your medical records for you and get our experts’ input so we can offer treatment options without an in-person visit. To schedule a virtual visit, call 1-866-680-0505.
Cancer and the COVID-19 Vaccine
There is currently no data that suggests current or former cancer patients should avoid getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Cancer can weaken your immune system, so we recommend that most patients get the vaccine as soon as possible.