Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. It is estimated one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lifetime.
Skin Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment at Penn
Penn dermatologists diagnose and treat all forms of skin cancer, including:
- Precancerous lesions called actinic keratosis
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
Risk Factors for Skin Cancer
Anyone can develop skin cancer. Risk factors for skin cancer include:
- Excessive exposure to the sun, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, tanning beds and tanning booths
- Fair complexion
- Family history
- Multiple or unusual moles
- Occupational exposures
Most skin cancers can be cured if detected and treated early. Derrmatologists and dermatologic surgeons at Penn Dermatology and specialize in treating skin cancer at all stages. They provide patients with comprehensive treatment options such as Mohs micrographic and reconstructive surgery.
In addition, Penn's Melanoma and Pigmented Lesion Clinic was the first dermatology program in the country to offer a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing, treating and preventing melanoma. Patients undergoing treatment for melanoma at Penn have the added advantage of working with a team of Penn specialists in dermatology, medical and surgical oncology, plastic surgery, pathology and dermatopathology.
Whole Body Photography
Whole body photography documents the skin through a series of photographs taken every five to seven years.
A medical photographer at Penn Dermatology conducts baseline studies of all patients seen in the melanoma and pigmented lesion clinic to document and establish mole patterns and changes over time.
Whole body photography is also available to patients who do not have a melanoma diagnosis, but want full body photography for skin cancer preventive measures.