Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. It is caused by uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells, including pigmented melanocytes and surface epithelial cells. Fortunately with early diagnosis and treatment, most skin cancers can be cured. Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It is more likely than other skin cancers to spread to other body tissues, such as organ or bones.
Call (602) 406-8222 or use our online tool to Find a Doctor at Dignity Health who specializes in diagnosing and treating skin cancer in Arizona. We offer cancer care at our Dignity Health – Cancer Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Dignity Health – Cancer Center at St. Joseph's Westgate, Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, and Chandler Regional Medical Center locations.
Types of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is usually visible to the naked eye. Symptoms of various skin cancer types are similar, but each looks a bit different. Some types of skin cancer, such as lymphoma of the skin, skin tumors and sarcomas, and Kaposi sarcoma are very rare.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is the most frequently diagnosed skin cancer. However, it is much less dangerous than other types because it grows slowly. Basal cell carcinoma looks like a pale or red scaly spot or lump. It is usually found on the face, especially the nose and ears.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma usually looks like a scaly, red spot that doesn’t heal with time. It tends to appear on places that get frequent sun exposure, such as the lips and ears.
Melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer, but can be fatal if untreated. It can start in an existing mole that changes color or shape or gets bigger. It can also start as a new spot or mole. Melanoma usually appears on women’s lower legs and on men’s backs. However, it
can develop anywhere, even under fingernails and between toes. Melanoma tends to spread quickly.
Skin Cancer Treatment at Dignity Health
At Dignity Health, we treat the whole person, not just the cancer. Your care team includes board certified medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and surgeons, as well as social workers, pharmacists, dietitians, and spiritual care experts. Cancer resources, such as support groups and counseling, are available to both you and your family members.
Treatment strategies for skin cancer include:
- Removal or treatment of precancerous skin lesions
- Targeted therapy to inhibit cancer cells’ ability to grow and selectively destroy them
- Radiation therapy or chemotherapy to kill rapidly growing cancer cells
- Immunotherapy to boost the body’s natural ability to fight off cancer cells
- Thermotherapy to destroy cancer cells with heat
- Surgery to physically remove skin cancer
Dignity Health provides screening and treatment for skin cancer in Arizona.