Skin cancer treatment in Austin
Ascension Seton skin cancer care
At Ascension Seton, we take a personalized approach to skin cancer care. Whether you need a skin screening for skin cancer, or you’ve already been diagnosed with skin cancer, our dermatologists are here for you. Our dermatologic surgeons are leaders in skin cancer treatment and provide surgical and non-surgical care. Mohs micrographic sensory, skin cancer excision and reconstruction are used to remove skin cancer. And, if more advanced care is needed, we work with your oncologist to deliver care that’s right for you.
Our dedicated care team helps improve your health and comfort. We take the time to answer all your questions, so you understand your care plan. We coordinate your appointments so you have access to other specialists for complex health conditions and support services when needed. Our multidisciplinary cancer care program delivers advanced surgical techniques and experience in skin cancer care.
Your care team helps you through every step — from your first consultation, to creating a personalized care plan, and throughout treatment and recovery.
Mohs surgery for skin cancer
At Ascension Seton, we provide the most advanced and precise surgical removal for many types of cancer — Mohs micrographic surgery. With this type of surgery, skin cancer is removed one layer at a time and evaluated. This method allows surgeons to remove cancer without damaging the surrounding areas. Mohs micrographic surgery works well for treating skin cancers in high risk or cosmetically sensitive sites, when other treatments have failed, or cancer cells recur.
Meet our Mohs surgeons
Diagnosing skin cancer
Our dermatologists offer screening tests and diagnostic testings. Most skin cancer begins as changes in the skin. Appearance changes in moles, dry, scaly patches, or new skin growths, may be an indication of abnormal cell growth. If you notice any of these changes in your skin, do not delay care. Schedule an appointment to talk with your dermatologist.
Early detection and treatment can help prevent the spread of skin cancer to other parts of your body.
When should I see a doctor?
What is skin cancer?
How often should you get screened?
What are the treatments for skin cancer?
Types of skin cancer
Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas typically develop on skin that has been regularly exposed to the sun. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. The areas most affected include the head, neck, and back of the hands. The face and nose are especially vulnerable to basal cell carcinoma. This type of cancer can appear as flesh-colored or brown lesions, waxy bumps, pimple-like lesions, or sores that don’t heal over time.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer. These lesions can be scaly, red skin patches, sores that don’t heal, or a red raised bump.
Melanoma is much less common but can be more dangerous. It can develop anywhere on the body, like moles or birthmarks, or in normally pigmented skin. The first sign of melanoma can be a mole that changes in size, shape, color, or new skin growth that is unusual in appearance.
Surgical treatment for skin cancer
Your care plan is based on many factors, including the type of skin cancer, stage, location, and your overall health. The goal of surgical treatment is to remove all cancerous tissue using excision, Mohs surgery, or curettage. A reconstruction procedure may be done at the same appointment. Our dermatologic surgeons are nationally recognized for their skill with cancer removal as well as with highly aesthetic reconstruction.
- Mohs surgery - Our highly trained Mohs surgeons have performed thousands of these procedures. The skin cancer is removed one layer at a time and microscopically evaluated for clear margins (cancer-free areas). This surgical method provides a high level of precision. This technique is especially effective in treating skin cancers that arise in high risk or cosmetically sensitive sites, or when other treatments have failed, or cancer cells recur.
Non-surgical treatment for skin cancer
Not all skin cancer is treated surgically. At Ascension Seton, we provide diverse care options including combination therapies:
- Immunotherapy - boosts the immune system’s ability to fight off disease. Drugs are administered to strengthen the immune response against skin cancer cells.
- Cryosurgery - works by freezing away cancerous tissue.
- Chemotherapy medication - attacks cancer cells directly. This method of treatment may be applied topically, taken orally, injected, or infused.
- Photodynamic therapy - includes applying a chemical to the affected area and then exposing the skin to a special light that destroys the cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy - uses high-energy rays to destroy the cancer cells.
Recognized for high quality care
The Austin Dermatologic Surgery Center provides care and services based on National Guidelines for Cancer Care. Our dermatologic surgeons are leaders in the field, serving on national committees, publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals, and giving lectures to other dermatologists and Mohs surgeons.
Preventing skin cancer with education
Sun protection is a critical step to keep your skin healthy and prevent skin cancer. Avoid artificial sources of ultraviolet light such as sunlamps or tanning beds, as they can increase your risk for skin cancer. You can help reduce your risk for skin cancer by:
- Minimizing midday sun exposure between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily and reapplying throughout the day
- Keeping your skin covered with long sleeves or hats, even on cloudy days
Don’t forget to protect your children's skin, too. It’s important to teach them the importance of healthy skin habits and sun protection. Sun exposure in childhood is one of the top risk factors of developing skin cancer as an adult.