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Cancer Center
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Skin Cancer

With more than 3.5 million people diagnosed each year, skin cancers are among the most common types of cancer. Out of all skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma, melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma are particularly common and are caused in large part by excessive exposure to ultraviolet light which includes sun exposure or indoor tanning. Other less common types of skin cancer include cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma and Merkel cell carcinoma. All of these types of skin cancer are treated at UVA Cancer Center.

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Need a Second Opinion?

If you'd like to schedule an appointment for a second opinion, call 434.924.9333.

Questions?

If you need to speak with someone about your appointment, call 434.924.9333.

  

Make an Appointment

If you'd like to make an appointment or get a second opinion, call 434.924.9333.

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Skin Cancer Overview

Image of a patient's forearm

Skin Cancer

With more than 3.5 million people diagnosed each year, skin cancers are among the most common types of cancer. Out of all skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma, melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma are particularly common and are caused in large part by excessive exposure to ultraviolet light which includes sun exposure or indoor tanning. Other less common types of skin cancer include cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma and Merkel cell carcinoma. All of these types of skin cancer are treated at UVA Cancer Center.

World Leader in Novel Skin Cancer Treatments

Spotlight on Melanoma

UVA Cancer Center is a world leader in the development and testing of innovative treatment modalities for melanoma, including vaccines for treatment and prevention of recurrence of the disease. Our work in this area represents one part of a comprehensive program of FDA-approved and experimental treatments for melanoma.

Patients can participate in clinical trials of these vaccines and other promising therapies through the Human Immune Therapy Center (HITC) at UVA Cancer Center. HITC studies how the body’s immune system can be used to kill cancer. It also provides national leadership in testing new therapies and bringing them into practice.

Prevention & Screening

  • Skin cancer, if detected early, is treatable in most cases. UVA Cancer Center oncologists specializing in skin cancer work closely with the Department of Dermatology faculty to provide expert care in skin cancer screening and treatment. The UVA Cancer Center also offers screening programs open to the public throughout the year that allow adults of all ages to be checked for signs of skin cancer. Getting screened often is the most effective way to stay ahead of skin cancer, especially if you do develop it.

    Skin cancer is highly preventable. Experts at the UVA Cancer Center recommend taking the following measures of prevention:

    • The best protection is a building – stay inside during the peak sunlight hours. 
    • Wear protective clothing including long pants, long sleeves and a wide-brim hat. Clothing with SPF protection is available and a rating of at least 30-50 offers the most effective coverage.
    • Wear sunscreen and protection for your eyes when in the sun. 
    • Avoid tanning beds.
Understanding Skin Cancer

The Facts About Skin Cancer

A little sun is good for you – sunlight triggers your body to produce the essential nutrient vitamin D. But you only need a few minutes of sun per day to make the necessary vitamin D, which isn’t enough time to tan or burn your skin. Suntans are your body’s way of protecting itself from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight that cause most skin cancers.

Risks & Treatments

  • Who is at Risk?

    Everyone is at risk. More than one million people will be diagnosed this year with skin cancer, making it the most common form of cancer. The most dangerous kind of skin cancer is melanoma, which makes up about 4 percent of skin cancer cases but causes about 79 percent of skin cancer deaths.

  • How is Skin Cancer Treated?

    UVA Cancer Center offers a variety of treatments for skin cancer, including Mohs Surgery, cryosurgery, laser therapy, radiation therapy, topical chemotherapy and immunotherapy, which you cannot find at other cancer centers in this region.

  • Why UVA Cancer Center?

    Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

Rob's Story

"Dr. Craig Slingluff used the tumor to make a vaccine specifically for my cancer. I didn’t even know they could do that!"

Read Rob's story.

Get Screened

UVA Health System’s Dermatology Clinic offers a free skin cancer screening event each year where patients of all ages are screened for potential skin cancer concerns. Learn more about the annual community skin cancer screening event