Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Skin cancer diagnoses vary widely.
Know your options.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, affecting more than 3.5 million Americans each year. Non-melanoma skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are not likely to spread and may require little more than minor surgery or topical treatment. Melanoma, which accounts for about 2 percent of all skin cancers but is responsible for most skin cancer deaths, may spread (metastasize) through the lymphatic system or bloodstream to other organs. Because skin cancer occurrence varies so widely, turning to a team of experts may be essential to understanding your disease and the options available to treat it. The pathologists and oncologists at our cancer hospitals are experts in treating skin cancer, at every stage.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), our doctors treat only cancer, giving them the knowledge and experience to help you make informed decisions about your care. Your oncologist may recommend surgery, immunotherapy or targeted therapy, and plastic surgery to restore your function and appearance, if necessary. Your care plan may also include evidence-informed supportive care therapies to help you address skin cancer-related side effects, such as sun sensitivity, skin dryness, itchiness and redness, fatigue, swelling or nausea.

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Learn About Skin Cancer

The most common cancer among American men and women, skin cancer occurs when damaged cellular DNA drives the cells to grow uncontrollably. Skin cancer comes in many types, including basal cell carcinoma—the most common—squamous cell carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma and melanoma, the deadliest form of the disease. The first sign of non-melanoma skin cancer is an unusual sore or growth that doesn’t go away. The risk for skin cancer increases as you age.

Learn more about skin cancer

Skin Cancer Diagnostic Evaluations

The only way to confirm whether you have skin cancer is with a visit to the doctor, who will typically first perform a visual examination. Your doctor will note the size, shape, location, color and texture of any suspicious spots, while also taking into account any bleeding or scaling. Most of the time, these examinations will be performed in a dermatologist’s office. In many cases, the whole growth will be removed and a biopsy taken to diagnose the cancer. 

Learn more about skin cancer diagnostic evaluations

Skin Cancer Advanced Treatments

In most cases, skin cancer is removed in a dermatologist’s office or with an outpatient surgical procedure. Advanced forms of the disease may be treated with more aggressive approaches, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or immunotherapy. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), our multidisciplinary team of cancer experts will tailor your treatment plan to your specific diagnosis and needs, taking care to answer your questions and involving you in treatment decisions throughout your journey.

Learn more about skin cancer treatments

Skin Cancer Supportive Care Services

Skin cancer patients, especially those with melanoma or advanced stages of squamous cell carcinoma or other skin cancers that require more than minor surgical treatments, may experience side effects that impact their quality of life. An integrative approach to care is designed to help you manage treatment-related side effects so you are better able to maintain your strength and stamina. Depending on your needs, you may choose to include nutrition therapy, pain management, naturopathic support or other supportive therapies to your care plan.

Learn more about skin cancer supportive care services

What's the difference in skin cells?


Treatments and prognoses for skin cancer vary greatly, depending on the skin cells affected. Learn the difference between the cells of the skin, including melanocytes and basal, squamous and Merkel cells.

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