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Skin Cancer

Our Approach to Skin Cancer

Dr. Valencia Thomas

Valencia Thomas, M.D., shares a lighter moment with one of her patients. Dr. Thomas is one of several board-certified dermatologists who treat skin cancers at MD Anderson's Mohs and Dermasurgery Center.

At MD Anderson's Ben Love/El Paso Corporation Melanoma and Skin Center, your treatment for skin cancer is personalized to provide the most advanced therapies with the least impact on your body.

Our skin cancer program is one of the largest in the nation. This gives us a level of experience and expertise found in few other centers.

Renowned experts work together to customize your care. Beginning with the most accurate diagnosis possible, we offer comprehensive, yet specialized, care for every type of skin cancer.

And we're constantly researching newer, safer, more effective ways to prevent, diagnose and treat skin cancer. This translates into a range of clinical trials for patients with skin cancer.

If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, we're here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • Most advanced skin cancer treatments, including least-invasive surgery
  • Most accurate diagnostic technology and methods
  • One of largest skin cancer programs in the nation
  • Range of clinical trials for skin cancer

Why Choose MD Anderson?

Treatment at MD Anderson

Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are treated in our:

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Skin Cancer Survivor Dennis Parker

Dennis Parker

"The longer I live, the more inspired I become because I look back at where I was in the beginning and where I am now, and I'm so thankful to be here."

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Skin Cancer Facts


Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. More than 2 million cases are diagnosed each year. About half of Americans will have skin cancer at least once by the time they are 65.

Skin Cancer Types

The two most common kinds of skin cancer are:

Basal cell carcinoma:

  • More than 90% of all skin cancers
  • Slow-growing and seldom spreads
  • If left untreated, can spread and invade bone and other tissues under the skin

Squamous cell carcinoma:

  • Can be more aggressive than basal cell carcinoma
  • Is more likely to grow deep below the skin and spread to distant parts of the body

These types of skin cancer sometimes are called nonmelanoma skin cancer

. When they are found early, they can almost always be cured.

Other Types of Skin Cancer

Actinic (solar) keratosis: A precancerous condition that can develop into squamous cell carcinoma. It appears as rough, red or brown, scaly patches on the skin. They are often more easily felt than seen. Like skin cancer, actinic keratosis usually is found on sun-exposed areas of the body, but it can be found on other parts of the body as well.


: A cancer that begins in the cells that produce skin pigment. It is less common than basal or squamous cell skin cancers, but it is more dangerous and can be deadly. If caught early, there is nearly a 97% chance for cure.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center