Ultraviolet light exposure, both natural and artificial, is a leading risk factor for skin cancer. Practice sun avoidance, especially during the peak hours of 10 am until 2 pm.
Preventing Skin Cancer
Use of sun protective clothing and hats or applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and reapplying it every two hours is recommended for extended sun exposure.
Detecting Skin Cancer
Regular monitoring of your skin for new or changing skin spots can help detect potential cancers. There are several types of skin cancer, each with different appearances and behavior.
Treating Skin Cancer
Indiana University Health Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center has a multidisciplinary skin cancer team that works together to diagnose and treat patients with all types of skin cancers. Team members include: dermatologists, dermatopathologists, Mohs micrographic surgeons, plastic surgeons, oncologic surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists.
- Dome shaped
- Slow growing
- Flesh colored, sometimes brown or black
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
- Looks like new
- Can be scaly
- Dark brown, black or purple
- Lesions may itch, bleed or become painful
- Asymetrical in nature
- Diameter equal to or greater than the size
of a pencil eraser
- New or enlarging
- Skin colored lesion
- Grows rapidly
Depending on the type of skin cancer diagnosis, treatment options are as follows:
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) & Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
These cancers are often treated by a dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon or surgeon. Mohs micrographic surgery, in which thin rims of tissue are removed one at a time until the cancer has been removed entirely, can also be utilized in the treatment of some of these cancers.
Melanoma & Merkel Cell Carcinoma
Given the potential for metastatic spread, it's important to receive treatment from a multidisciplinary team. If diagnosed early, these cancers are typically treated with surgery. Radiation or immunotherapies may also be used. For more advanced stages, the treatment options may include surgery, clinical studies, or medical therapies including chemotherapy, immunotherapy and moleculary targeted therapy.