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Melanoma and Other Skin Cancers

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center provides expert care for people with all types of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.

We offer:

  • Complete skin cancer diagnostic services.
  • Leading-edge skin cancer treatments, including access to clinical trials.
  • Supportive care for you and your loved ones.

Our goal is to treat your skin cancer with minimal side effects or disruption of your daily life.

What Are Melanoma and Skin Cancer?

Melanoma and other skin cancers affect the tissues of the skin.

Doctors label skin cancers as either melanoma or non-melanoma.

Melanoma skin cancer

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. It can occur anywhere on your body and can spread quickly.

There are about 76,250 new melanoma cases each year in the United States.

Most melanomas form in areas exposed to the sun, such as your:

  • Back
  • Legs
  • Face
  • Arms

Hidden melanomas, which develop in places that don't have exposure to the sun, are less common.

Melanoma risk increases with exposure to ultraviolet light. If you spend too much time in the sun or use tanning beds, you increase your risk.

Early detection of melanoma increases the success of your treatment.

But it's hard to detect in the early stages. And it can spread to other parts of the body through the lymph system, making it hard to treat.

Non-melanoma skin cancers

Non-melanoma skin cancers affect other cells in the skin. Most are easy to detect because they cause a growth or other mark on the skin.

The most common types of non-melanoma skin cancers are:

  • Basal cell carcinomas: This is the most common type of skin cancer. This type of skin cancer forms in the basal cells on the top of the skin.
  • Squamous cell carcinomas: This is the second most common type of skin cancer. It forms in the squamous cells on top of the skin.
  • Merkel cell carcinoma: This form of non-melanoma skin cancer is rare and aggressive.
  • Dysplastic nevi: These atypical moles are not skin cancer. They're benign growths that resemble melanomas.

Skin Cancer Treatments

Your doctor will explain all your melanoma treatment options and possible side effects.

Treatments may include:

  • Surgery to remove the growth or the affected lymph nodes if your melanoma has spread.
  • Chemotherapy to kill skin cancer cells.
  • Radiation to stop the growth of cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy to fight cancer by boosting your body's immune system.
  • Targeted therapy drugs to treat advanced melanoma. These drugs include certain promising clinical trials.

Why Choose UPMC for Melanoma and Skin Cancer Care?

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center has a specialized Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program. Our expert team addresses the various aspects of skin cancer in a unified way.

Our team approach to care includes experts in:

  • Dermatology.
  • Pathology.
  • Chemo, radiation, and cancer surgery.

Your team will work with you and your referring doctor to tailor a treatment plan to meet your needs. We offer advanced therapies and skin cancer clinical trials to provide the best possible results.

The National Cancer Institute designates UPMC Hillman Cancer Center as a Comprehensive Cancer Center.

We have more than 70 centers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, and western New York.

Contact Us About Melanoma and Skin Cancer Care

To learn more about melanoma and skin cancer care or to make an appointment, you can:

Husband and wife talking with healthcare provider

Skin Cancer Screenings and Exams

We suggest yearly screenings by a doctor for men and women, starting at age 35. We also urge monthly self-exams.

Learn about skin cancer screenings at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.
Female doctor with female patient.

Melanoma and Skin Cancer Treatment Program

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center's multidisciplinary approach to treating melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers allows us to provide a complete continuum of care.

Read about the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Treatment Program.
doctor with elderly patient

Treatments for Skin Cancer

We offer many options for treating melanoma and other skin cancers, including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.

Find skin cancer treatment options at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.
Melanoma Facts

Melanoma Facts: Are You at Risk?

Although it can sometimes be hard to spot, healthy habits and proper screenings can reduce your risk. Detection and early treatment is critical.

Learn more from UPMC HealthBeat.