Our comprehensive skin cancer program specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of both common and rare skin cancers. Melanoma is a less common but more serious form of skin cancer. Risk factors for skin cancer and melanoma include family history, history of significant sun exposure or tanning, medications that alter the immune system, and organ transplantation.
Our team of specialists includes board-certified dermatologists and Mohs surgeons. Dermatologists have specialized and advanced training in the diagnosis and management of melanoma. Whether you have been recently diagnosed with a melanoma or have spots that you are concerned about, the Nebraska Medicine dermatology team is here to take care of you and provide extraordinary care.
What to expect
For skin checks:
If you have risk factors for melanoma or new or changing moles, a skin check can help determine if those moles or spots are something to be concerned about. When you see your board-certified dermatologist for a skin check, they will evaluate your skin for any concerning spots. After giving your history to the nurse, you will typically get into a gown, so the dermatologist can evaluate your skin. The exam involves the dermatologist looking over your skin and in some cases using specialized lights, to evaluate moles or spots. Using their advanced medical training, they can identify moles that are normal or others that are suspicious. If there are suspicious spots, they may recommend a skin biopsy.
A skin biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure where the skin is gently numbed with a local anesthetic and a small piece of skin is taken to look under the microscope for diagnosis. This is the gold standard for evaluating suspicious spots on your skin. Depending on what the dermatologist finds during their exam, they will recommend ways to keep your skin safe.
For a melanoma consultation and surgery:
Once you have been diagnosed with a melanoma you may see one of our dermatologists or dermatologic Mohs surgeons in consult. The consult is a visit that is focused on understanding the diagnosis, management, and follow-up. Most melanomas are thin melanomas and are managed with surgical removal alone. We offer advanced techniques for the removal of melanomas, including Mohs Micrographic Surgery for select types of melanoma.
Mohs surgery is a specialized technique for the surgical removal of skin cancers. Mohs surgery allows for real-time margin assessment of skin cancers. Our fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons specialize in the treatment and management of skin cancer. Mohs for melanoma utilizes special stains and diagnostic techniques to maximize cure rates. This allows surgical removal of the melanoma, comprehensive margin assessment, and in some cases, same-day reconstruction. Select types of melanomas are candidates for Mohs surgery, including those on the head/neck and hands/feet.
In patients with advanced melanoma who require more than local surgical management, we work with our colleagues in a multidisciplinary setting to optimize care for melanoma patients. Our skin cancer team is committed to ensuring you see one of our specialists by making available “on-demand” appointments.
For providers: Indications for referral
- Patients who are newly diagnosed with melanoma, basal and squamous cell carcinomas, as well as a variety of other cutaneous malignancies including Merkel cell carcinomas and sweat gland carcinomas
- Patients with skin cancers on the head/neck, hands/feet
- Patients with recurrent or complex skin cancers