Treating skin cancer at St. Vincent's
Skin cancer treatment depends on the type, stage, size and location of the tumor, whether or not the cancer has spread (metastasized), and a patient’s overall health.
At St. Vincent’s our dermatologists diagnose skin cancer and consider treatment options that include surgery, radiation therapy, immunotherapy and/or chemotherapy.
Both non-melanoma (basal cell and squamous cell) and melanoma skin cancers can be successfully treated in many cases, if they are diagnosed and treated when the tumor is relatively thin. Surgery to remove the tumor is the standard treatment but numerous other options are available.
- Simple excision (removal) of the lesion and an area of normal-appearing skin surrounding it in all directions.
- Curettage and electrodesiccation (scraping and cauterizing), which is effective for small basal cell and squamous cell cancers
- Mohs surgery (microscopically-controlled surgery), a highly specialized technique for basal and squamous cell carcinoma that doesn't cause as much scarring as other methods. Dermatologists at St. Vincent’s will refer patients in need of Mohs surgery to a specialist.
If surgery for melanoma is required, patients may also undergo "adjuvant" treatment, including immunotherapy, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. If the melanoma has spread to distant organs (stage IV) or recurs (comes back after treatment), surgery may be performed again to help control the disease.
The Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care
The Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care is accredited with commendation by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.
Criteria for accreditation include a relationship with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and a representative from the ACS is a member of our Hospital Committee on Cancer.
Click in for additional information about specific cancers listed by ACS, and call the Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care's referral line: 1-877-231-SWIM (7946) for more informaton.
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To speak with a St. Vincent's Care Line representative, call (877) 255-7847
To speak with somone at the front desk of the Medical Center, please call (203) 576-6000
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