Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is extremely common, especially among fair-skinned individuals and those who spend lots of time outdoors in the sun. Reducing your exposure to the ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun is the best defense against skin cancer. 

There are three types of skin cancer—basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma—and early detection is key when it comes to a successful recovery, regardless of what type of skin cancer you have. 



Symptoms

In order to detect cancerous lesions on the skin, it’s important to routinely monitor any growths, moles, freckles or other markings. An easy way to do that is to assess moles according to the ABCDE rule:
  • Asymmetry. One half of the mole does not match the other half.
  • Border irregularity. The edges of the mole are ragged or irregular.
  • Color. The mole has different colors in it. It may be tan, brown, black, red or other colors.
  • Or, it may have areas that appear to have lost color.
  • Diameter. The mole is bigger than 6 millimeters across, about the size of a pencil eraser. It's important to note that some melanomas can be smaller.
  • Evolving. A mole changes in size, shape or color.

Other signs and symptoms of skin cancer can include:
  • A mole or skin mark that itches or is sore
  • A mole or skin mark that oozes, bleeds or becomes crusty
  • A mole or skin mark that looks different from your other moles or skin marks
  • A sore that doesn't heal
  • A mole or sore that becomes red or swells at its edges or beyond

Watch for any changes to the moles or skin marks on your body and pay attention to new moles or skin marks that appear. If any of them fit the ABCDEs or other criteria, see your Inspira physician right away. 


Screening and Prevention

Self-examination is the first step to preventing skin cancer. Begin by getting to know the pattern of moles, blemishes, freckles and other marks on your skin. Any new moles or changes in existing moles should be checked by your doctor right away.


Your doctor can check you for signs of skin cancer as part of your regular health exams, or you can see a dermatologist. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) also provides free skin exams at certain times of the year. Doctors who are part of this program do not make a diagnosis, but can tell you if you should see a dermatologist.



Treatment

Inspira offers comprehensive care for melanoma and other skin cancers. If diagnosed, your course of treatment will be based on a variety of factors including tumor type, size, location and your age and overall health. Your dermatologist can perform treatments for some smaller skin cancer lesions; for deeper or larger areas we offer wide excision of the cancer with complex reconstruction or skin grafts. You may be referred to a surgical oncologist for care.

Our multidisciplinary team can discuss additional treatment options, including immunotherapy, targeted therapy or radiation therapy. All patients’ diagnoses and treatment options are discussed in depth at multidisciplinary meetings, ensuring adherence to national guidelines. 

Melanomas are a particularly dangerous type of skin cancer commonly treated with surgery. Some patients may be candidates for immunotherapy, which is a form of treatment that helps a person’s own immune system destroy the cancer cells more effectively. Patients may also benefit from new biologic agents that specifically target parts of melanoma cells. Chemotherapy or radiation may be used under certain circumstances, especially in advanced melanomas, or in melanomas that do not respond to immunotherapy or targeted therapy.


If you'd like more information about you or a loved one's cancer care, or to receive a second opinion about a diagnosis, call 1-800-INSPIRA.

Why Choose Inspira?

Advanced Technology Meets Compassionate Support

We combine cutting-edge medical technology with a human touch, allowing us to provide expert care. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained oncology physicians are well-versed in the latest cancer treatments and are equipped with advanced technologies that can increase your chances for a successful recovery. We also understand that navigating the ups and downs of life with cancer can be overwhelming, which is why we provide a built-in support system of social workers, counselors, navigators, registered dieticians and behavioral health specialists so you and your family don’t have to walk the path to recovery alone.

A Comprehensive Approach to Cancer Care

Inspira’s oncology physicians take a multi-faceted approach to detecting, diagnosing and treating cancer by looking at your condition from a holistic perspective. Whether you’re just beginning treatment or are a cancer-free survivor, we take everything—genetics, lifestyle habits and other risk factors—into account when designing your care plan. By treating the whole person rather than just the disease itself, we’re able to offer a more targeted, personalized experience.

Access to Clinical Trials

Inspira participates in clinical trials to explore new ways to prevent, detect or treat cancer. Clinical trials can also focus on other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with cancer. Participants help others and may also benefit from receiving the newest treatment along with additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff.

Cancer Services Close to Home

Residents of South Jersey need not travel far to get the best in cancer care—with multiple facilities in the region, Inspira delivers a full breadth of cancer services close to where you live. When you’re not distracted by a long commute to your medical provider, you have more energy to focus on what’s important: healing and getting your life back.