The Skin Cancer Program at CentraState Medical Center offers state-of-the-art services, expertise, and technology for detecting, diagnosing, treating and helping patients recover from different types of skin cancer. CentraState’s multidisciplinary, integrated approach to our Skin Cancer Program assures patients and their families of continuity of care and the convenience of finding everything under one roof in a friendly, attentive environment.
The Skin Cancer Program Team
The skin cancer team is led by an outstanding group of board-certified physicians specializing in Medical Oncology, Dermatology, General Surgery, Plastic Surgery, and Radiation Oncology. Trained at leading academic medical centers, these doctors combine their expertise to evaluate and treat all stages of skin cancer. The team also includes Magnet-designated nurses credentialed in chemotherapy and certified in cancer care, and other professionals focused on patients’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs while undergoing treatment for different types of skin cancer.
Early Skin Cancer Prevention & Detection
Prevention and early detection are significant components of CentraState’s Skin Cancer Program. This includes—MoleSafe*—a skin documentation system that uses total body photography to create an electronic record of your skin. CentraState is the only hospital in New Jersey to offer this advanced screening system. Using a specialized digital camera, a trained nurse takes head-to-toe photos to create an electronic record of your skin. This record can be used during regular follow-up visits as a baseline for detecting changes in existing moles and lesions, as well as spotting any new ones. (To learn more, read our MoleSafe brochure) Results from the MoleSafe screening are assessed and diagnosed by a melanoma dermatologist, and a detailed report is sent to your doctor that includes recommendations for treating and monitoring suspicious lesions.
If skin cancer is suspected after a review of your medical history and a physical exam, your physician will need to take a biopsy in order to make a diagnosis. The biopsy will then be sent to CentraState’s laboratory for analysis and results.
Skin Cancer Treatments
Treatments for types of skin cancer can vary depending on the patient’s cancer severity and type of skin cancer. A patient in the CentraState Skin Cancer Program receives an individualized treatment plan based on the type of skin cancer, its size, location and the patient’s preference. Your physician will work with you to design the best treatment plan for your specific type of skin cancer.
Standard treatments for non-melanoma skin cancer (basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas) include:
- Cryosurgery or freezing—uses liquid nitrogen to destroy early skin cancers.
- Curettage and electrodesiccation—involves physically scraping away the skin cancer cells followed by electrosurgery, which uses an electric needle to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
- Laser therapy—uses a finely focused intense beam of light to vaporize the cancerous growth with little to no damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
- Mohs surgery—a procedure used for larger, recurring or tough-to-treat cancers, which may include both basal and squamous cell carcinomas. In this process, the skin is removed layer-by-layer. Each layer is examined under the microscope until no abnormal cells remain. It allows cancerous cells to be removed without damaging healthy skin.
- Drugs—(topically applied retinoids, and in cases where the cancer is more advanced, chemotherapy may be used).
Standard treatments for melanoma skin cancer include:
- Wide surgical excision—removes the cancerous tissue as well as a surrounding margin of healthy skin.
- Sentinel lymph node mapping (for deeper lesions)—helps to determine if the melanoma has spread to local lymph nodes.
- Biological therapy or immunotherapy—uses substances produced by the body or similar substances produced in the lab to boost the immune system to fight the skin cancer.
- Radiation therapy
New methods in clinical trials are sometimes used to treat different types of skin cancer. For more information on skin cancer clinical trials at CentraState please contact CentraState's Research Department at (732) 303-5047.
Complementary and Support Services
The skin cancer team at CentraState understands that dealing with the emotional and physical effects of skin cancer can be stressful, even isolating. To help patients and their families to better cope, we offer an array of supportive services, including wellness programs and support groups.
* Fees and charges for MoleSafe are made payable directly to MoleSafe USA, LLC.