Types of Cancer We Treat

Cancer care at Riverside is a collaborative experience – with an entire team taking care of you – addressing your needs and meeting your goals. Ongoing communication achieves care coordination between all team members, each with a unique purpose for your success. Your team will determine your specific diagnosis and the best course of treatment. The skin cancer team at Riverside includes:

  • Medical oncologist
  • Surgical oncologist
  • Radiation oncologist
  • Pathologist
  • Medical physicist
  • Dosimetrist
  • Radiation oncology nurse
  • Radiation therapist
  • Patient navigator
  • Social worker
  • Dietitian
  • IT oncology specialist

Advanced treatments for skin cancer removal

Depending on the depth of skin cancer growth, cancer cells may be removed by a skilled surgeon at Riverside. Radiation therapy can follow surgery or be used as the primary treatment if surgery is not required. Your treatment plan may also include chemotherapy. To determine the optimal treatment for your specific type and stage of cancer, your team of cancer specialists will work together for the best treatment plan – and how that treatment will work best for your individual needs. As part of the team, we have dedicated team members that provide expert quality assurance of how that treatment will be applied.  

High-dose brachytherapy for skin cancer provides targeted treatment

At Riverside, our oncology team has the support of an entire system of care with access to advanced treatments that prove successful. High-dose brachytherapy provides a very targeted approach to the treatment of skin cancer lesions, both small and large. These targeted and high-dose treatments allow treatment completion in fewer sessions, so healing and recovery can begin sooner.

For every patient, we take a very customized approach with treatment application set up to apply the radiation therapy to the exact same place, every time. Especially with larger lesions and more complex cancers, our team builds a custom treatment application that allows the precise delivery of treatment while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. This means our team literally builds a custom applicator from scratch just for the shape of your body – where your skin cancer has been identified – for accurate dose distribution. 

If multiple skin lesions are identified, our team will provide custom applications to treat those more extensive skin cancer areas, using a wrap-around application or even a helmet if the skin cancers are found on your head. The medical physicist team makes these application devices just for you – and will guide you through the entire process of simulating the treatment to ensure correct placement with careful immobilization to confirm the exact position for every treatment and conform the doses to your exact needs. Dosimetrists use high-tech equipment to ensure the appropriate dosage is applied to the skin cancer, monitoring that healthy cells are not affected. 

One of the patient benefits of coming to Riverside for your cancer care is that every team member is dedicated to our patients. Some cancer care organizations use 3rd party vendors to supply the services of medical physicists or dosimetrists. At Riverside, they are an integral part of the care team – focused on quality assurance and the optimal delivery of your treatments.

Understanding skin cancer

Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Our skin cancer experts at Riverside Health System have the experience and expertise to diagnose and treat any form of skin cancer. 

Skin cancer begins on the upper layer of skin, but that upper layer includes squamous cells just below the outer layer, basal cells under the squamous cells and the lower layers of your skin or epidermis. Where your skin cancer begins determines the type and treatment.  

Routine use of sunscreen is critical to skin cancer prevention as exposure to the sun is the primary cause of skin cancer. Use sunscreen all year, even on cloudy days, because harmful UV radiation is always present. The best proactive approach to skin cancer is routinely checking for any changes to moles or existing spots – or new ones that develop. Many are harmless, but it's essential to watch for concerns and have a dermatologist review.

Learn more about skin cancer expertise at Riverside

If you or a loved one has concerns about unusual skin spots or changes in an existing mole, talk with your primary care physician or one of our dermatologists at Riverside. Our team can also help you with skin cancer screenings or find community events about cancer prevention.