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Oncology Patient Education

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

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Your searched on: skin cancer

Skin Cancer Screening
Skin cancer may be treated more successfully if it is caught early. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) hasn't recommended for or against routine skin cancer screening for adults at normal risk. This means the USPSTF didn't find enough evidence from studies to show that all adults with a normal risk for...

Skin Cancer: Preventing It and Watching for Early Signs
Provides tips for preventing and watching for skin cancer. Includes protecting the skin, knowing early signs of skin cancer, and having skin exams.

Skin Cancer, Nonmelanoma
Discusses basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, two types of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Covers causes and what increases your risk. Discusses early detection. Covers treatment choices, including chemotherapy and surgery. Offers prevention tips.

Curettage and Electrosurgery for Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer
Curettage is the process of scraping skin with a spoon-shaped tool (curette) to remove skin tissue. Electrosurgery is the burning of skin tissue with an electric current that runs through a metal tool or needle. It may be done after curettage to control bleeding and destroy any remaining cancer cells. The wound is then...

Excision of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer
Excision of nonmelanoma skin cancer is a treatment to remove, or excise, basal cell and squamous cell cancers (carcinomas) from your skin. Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the skin. Most cases of these types of cancer can be cured if they are found and removed early. If the cancer is not completely...

Basal Cell Skin Cancer
What is basal cell skin cancer? Basal cell skin cancer is the most common type of skin cancer. It grows slowly and usually doesn't spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. But if this cancer isn't treated, it can damage the nearby skin and deeper tissues. When it's found and treated early, it is almost always...

Squamous Cell Skin Cancer
What is squamous cell skin cancer? Squamous cell skin cancer is a common type of skin cancer. It's often caused by too much sun. This cancer grows slowly. When found and treated early, most of these cancers can be cured. If not treated, this skin cancer may grow and spread (metastasize). What are the symptoms? Skin...

Mohs Surgery for Skin Cancer
Mohs surgery removes a skin cancer one layer at a time. The doctor checks each layer for cancer cells until no more cancer is found. This method lets the doctor save as much healthy tissue as possible. This surgery is mostly used for areas of skin you can see or where scarring is a bigger concern, such as on the ears...

Radiation Therapy for Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer
Radiation therapy is used to destroy cancer cells. This procedure may require 15 to 30 visits to a facility with special equipment. Radiation therapy may be used in combination with other types of therapy to treat aggressive or recurrent skin cancer.

Basal Cell Skin Cancer: Should I Have Surgery?
Guides you through decision to treat low-risk basal cell skin cancer with surgery or nonsurgical treatments. Explains types of surgery and types of nonsurgical treatments. Covers benefits and risks of both. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

Skin Cancer, Melanoma
Discusses melanoma, skin cancer that may be caused by too much sun exposure. Covers symptoms. Discusses how it is diagnosed. Offers prevention tips and covers skin self-exams. Discusses treatment options, including surgery and radiation therapy.

Skin Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Screening - Health Professional Information [NCI]
Note: The Overview section summarizes the published evidence on this topic. The rest of the summary describes the evidence in more detail. Other PDQ summaries containing information related to skin cancer screening include the following: Skin Cancer Prevention, Skin Cancer Treatment, Genetics of Skin Cancer, Levels of...

Skin Cancer Prevention (PDQ®): Prevention - Health Professional Information [NCI]
Individuals who have light-hair and -eye color, freckles, and who sunburn easily are particularly susceptible to developing skin cancer.[ 1] There are two primary types of skin cancer, keratinocyte carcinoma (including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma [SCC]) and melanoma. Observational and analytic...

Skin Cancer Prevention (PDQ®): Prevention - Patient Information [NCI]
Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective...

Skin Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI]
There are three main types of skin cancer: Basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Melanoma. BCC and SCC are the most common forms of skin cancer and together are referred to as nonmelanoma skin cancers. This summary addresses the treatment of BCC and SCC of the skin and the related noninvasive lesion...

Skin Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI]
Skin cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the skin. The skin is the body's largest organ. It protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also helps control body temperature and stores water, fat, and vitamin D. The skin has several layers, but the two main...

Skin Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Screening - Patient Information [NCI]
Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

Genetics of Skin Cancer (PDQ®): Genetics - Health Professional Information [NCI]
This executive summary reviews the topics covered in this PDQ summary on the genetics of skin cancer, with hyperlinks to detailed sections below that describe the evidence on each topic. Inheritance and Risk More than 100 types of tumors are clinically apparent on the skin. Many are known to have familial and/or...

Cryotherapy for Skin Lesions
Cryotherapy is the process of destroying a skin lesion by freezing it with liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen is applied to the lesion using a cotton applicator stick or an aerosol spray. The skin may first be numbed with a local anesthetic. The liquid nitrogen is applied or sprayed onto the lesion and the immediate...

Laser Treatment for Skin Lesions
Laser treatment uses a highly focused beam of light. This high-intensity light is used to shrink or destroy skin lesions like pre-cancers (actinic keratosis). With lasers, there is usually less bleeding, swelling, and scarring. Healing is quicker, and you are less likely to get an infection. Several different types of...

Protecting Your Skin From the Sun
Covers possible effects of sun exposure, including sunburn and skin cancer. Explains UVA and UVB rays. Offers tips for children and adults on how much time to spend in the sun. Discusses protective clothing and sunscreen protection, including proper SPF.

Melanoma Excision Surgery
Surgery to remove (excise) a melanoma removes the entire melanoma along with a border (margin) of normal-appearing skin. The width of the border of normal skin removed depends on the depth of the melanoma. More tissue, usually skin and fat, is also removed from under the melanoma. Small excisions may be closed with...

Skin, Hair, and Nails
Provides links to information about skin, hair, and nail health. Includes info about skin cancer, hair loss, nail infections, acne, and skin protection.

Skin Changes
Briefly discusses common skin changes and possible causes including infection, health conditions, and medicines. Includes info on skin cancer. Offers interactive tool to help decide when to seek care. Also offers home treatment tips.

Actinic Keratosis
Discusses actinic keratosis (solar keratosis), a type of skin growth caused by sun exposure. Describes how skin will look and feel. Covers treatment options. Explains risk for squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer). Offers prevention tips.

Skin Biopsy
Discusses why and how skin biopsies are done. Covers preparing for surgery and post-surgery risks. Explains how to interpret results, including abnormal results. Covers what affects test results.

Swollen Glands, Hernias, and Other Lumps Under the Skin
Briefly discusses possible causes of swollen glands and other lumps under the skin. Covers bacterial and viral infections, noncancerous growths, hernias, aneurysms, and swelling caused by cancer. Offers interactive tool to help decide when to seek care. Also offers home treatment tips.

Childhood Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Skin Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI]
Skin cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the skin. The skin is the body's largest organ. It protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also helps control body temperature and stores water, fat, and vitamin D. The skin has several layers, but the two main...

Mastectomy (Removal of the Breast) for Breast Cancer
Discusses breast cancer surgery. Covers simple mastectomy, modified mastectomy, and radical mastectomy. Covers what to expect after surgery. Looks at risks. Links to info on breast reconstruction.

Hair Loss From Cancer Treatment
Explains hair loss from chemotherapy or radiation. Covers how long hair loss lasts and how to care for your scalp and hair. Explains how cooling caps may help prevent hair loss in some types of treatment.

Breast Cancer: What Should I Do if I'm at High Risk?
Guides you through testing and treatment choices if you're at high risk for breast cancer. Covers extra checkups, medicines, and surgery. Lists reasons for and against for each option. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

Cancer: Home Treatment for Mouth Sores
A painful sore or ulcer inside your mouth may make it hard to eat and drink. Be sure to let your doctor know you are having mouth sores. You may need to have your medicines adjusted. And try some of the following home treatment measures to help ease pain and speed healing. What to eat and drink Drink a lot of water...

Breast Cancer: Should I Have Breast Reconstruction After a Mastectomy?
Guides through decision to have breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. Describes what options are available for breast reconstruction and how it is done. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

Choosing a Prosthesis After Breast Cancer Surgery
Whether to wear a breast form (prosthesis) after breast surgery is a very personal decision. You may want to wear a breast form if: You are waiting for reconstructive surgery. You have decided not to have reconstructive surgery. Your breasts don't look even. You have had only part of your breast removed (lumpectomy)...

Thinking About Bilateral Mastectomy for Early-Stage Breast Cancer
People with early-stage breast cancer who have breast-conserving surgery ( lumpectomy) followed by radiation treatments live just as long as people who have mastectomy. Some people with early-stage cancer choose to have both the affected breast and the breast without cancer removed. Removing both breasts is called a...

Breast Cancer: Should I Have Breast-Conserving Surgery or a Mastectomy?
Guides you through decision about which surgery to have for early-stage breast cancer. Lists benefits and risks of both mastectomy and breast-conserving surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

Hereditary Kidney Cancer Syndromes (PDQ®): Genetics - Patient Information [NCI]
Kidney cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in tubules of the kidney. Kidney cancer (also called renal cell cancer) is cancer that starts in the lining of very small tubes in the kidney called renal tubules. There are two kidneys, one on each side of the backbone, above the waist. Tubules in the...

Exercises After Breast Cancer Surgery
Provides an overview and step-by-step instructions and photos for doing exercises after breast cancer surgery.

Indoor Tanning: Is It Safe?
When people use a tanning bed or booth or a sunlamp to get a tan, it's called indoor tanning. Indoor tanning uses artificial ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) light, rather than sunlight, to tan the skin. People may feel that a tan makes them look good and that a tan looks "healthy." But being exposed to the...

Sun Protection to Prevent Sunburn
Physical sunscreens, such as zinc oxide, are usually thick white or colored cream. They prevent the skin from being exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays. They are useful for high-risk areas such as the nose, lips, and shoulders. It's safest to keep babies younger than 6 months out of the sun. Use sunscreens on children...

Ultraviolet Rays From the Sun
The sunlight that reaches the earth has ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B (UVA and UVB) rays. These ultraviolet rays are the main causes of damage to the skin from the sun. UVA and UVB rays affect the skin's sensitivity to sun exposure in different ways. UVA Can pass through window glass Is not affected by a change in...

Metastatic Melanoma
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer because it grows so quickly. When it spreads (metastasizes) to other parts of the body, it's called metastatic melanoma. It usually spreads first into nearby lymph nodes before going to the liver, lungs, bone, or brain, or to skin in another part of the body. When...

Melanoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI]
Melanoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in melanocytes (cells that color the skin). . The skin is the body's largest organ. It protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also helps control body temperature and stores water, fat, and vitamin D. The skin has several layers, but...

Childhood Melanoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI]
Melanoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in melanocytes (cells that color the skin). The skin is the body's largest organ. It protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also helps control body temperature and stores water, fat, and vitamin D. The skin has several layers, but...

Merkel Cell Carcinoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI]
Merkel cell carcinoma is a very rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the skin. Merkel cells are found in the top layer of the skin. These cells are very close to the nerve endings that receive the sensation of touch. Merkel cell carcinoma, also called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin or trabecular...

Tissue Flap Surgery for Breast Reconstruction
Discusses breast reconstruction surgery done after mastectomy. Covers two ways of doing the surgery: pedicle flap and free flap. Looks at types of flap surgery: TRAM, latissimus dorsi, DIEP, SIEA, TUG, and gluteal free. Covers what to expect after surgery and risks.

Colostomy
A colostomy is surgery to make an opening in the skin on the belly and connect your bowel (colon) to that opening. The opening is called a stoma. The stoma may be needed for weeks to months. Or it may be needed throughout your life. After surgery, stool will not leave your body through your anus. It will go through the...

Lymph Node Removal (Lymphadenectomy) for Melanoma
This surgery is done to see if cancer has spread to a lymph node. Some lymph nodes are located near the surface of the body, while others are deep in the belly or around organs, such as the heart or liver. The surgery is also done to remove melanoma that has spread only to the lymph nodes and to prevent melanoma from...

Pruritus (PDQ®): Supportive care - Patient Information [NCI]
Pruritus is an itchy feeling that makes you want to scratch your skin. It may occur without a rash or skin lesions. Pruritus sometimes feels like pain because the signals for itching and pain travel along the same nerve pathways. Scratching may cause breaks in the skin, bleeding, and infection. If your skin feels itchy...

Mycosis Fungoides (Including Sézary Syndrome) Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI]
Mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome are diseases in which lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) become malignant (cancerous) and affect the skin. Normally, the bone marrow makes blood stem cells (immature cells) that become mature blood stem cells over time. A blood stem cell may become a myeloid stem cell or a...

Living With More Than One Health Problem
Many people have more than one long-term (chronic) health problem. You may be one of them. For example, you may have high blood pressure and diabetes, or you may have high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart failure. When you have more than one problem, doctors call the health problems comorbidities. One health problem...

Breast Problems
Briefly discusses breast changes during puberty, noncancerous breast changes, and when problems may need follow-up care. Offers interactive tool to help decide when to seek care. Also offers home treatment tips.

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