Maine Medical Center

Skin Cancer Care

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Among the different types of skin cancers, melanoma is responsible for 75% of all skin cancer deaths. MaineHealth Dermatology - Portland provides comprehensive care for melanoma and other skin cancers. Services include early detection, diagnostic imaging, surgery, therapy and personalized treatment.

Our Collaborative Approach To Skin Cancer Care

Our team of experts in surgical oncology, medical oncology, dermatology, pathology, plastic surgery and radiation oncology meets monthly to review cancer patient cases. Together, we conduct a complete review of clinical presentation, history, pathology, imaging and treatment to date. The team then recommends an individualized treatment plan based on their experience, the latest information from colleagues around the country, and the evidence-based guidelines of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Types of skin cancer are:

  • Melanoma
  • Basal Cell skin cancer
  • Squamous Cell skin cancer

Learn more about skin cancer.

Expert treatment begins with thorough evaluation to establish the most accurate diagnosis and stage, or extent, of disease. We use the latest techniques in radiology and pathology, including CT, MRI and PET scans, ultrasound evaluation of lymph nodes, sentinel lymph node sampling, and molecular testing of biopsy specimens. 

There are several kinds of treatment for skin cancer, including:

  • Topical treatments can be used to prevent or treat some forms of skin cancer. Topical treatments are treatments that are applied to the skin.
  • Surgery is a common treatment for skin cancer. It is used in most cases. Some types of skin cancer growths can be removed very easily and require only very minor surgery, while others may require a more extensive surgical procedure.
  • Radiation therapy is another treatment option for skin cancers. Radiation treatments can be used to cure most early non-melanoma skin cancers, to improve the chance of cure for melanoma, and to control symptoms for those that cannot be cured.
  • Systemic treatments are medications that go all throughout the patient’s body to treat cancer that is too advanced to be cured by other methods alone. There are many types of systemic treatment and they are administered by various means, such as in pill form, or by injection under the skin (like a flu shot), or by intravenous injection (in a liquid injected through a tube inserted into a vein). In rare instances, these treatments are injected into a selected artery to deliver the medication to just one region of the body. Systemic treatments are used to cure some forms of skin cancer, even in advanced stages. Systemic treatments are used to palliate, or control, other forms of skin cancer that cannot be cured.

MaineHealth Dermatology - Portland also offers cancer patients access to a variety of clinical trials. When available, clinical trials offer patients access to new and promising treatments.