Skin Cancer

Read articles about skin cancers, diagnosis, symptoms, management, and treatment.

Reducing Skin Malignancy Risk in Organ Transplant Recipients

Skin cancer in organ transplant recipients is a serious problem that manifests as increased squamous cell carcinoma in long-term patients. Education, surveillance, and management of skin cancers in high risk patients are discussed in this article.

Alternatives to Mohs Surgery

In this video Dr. Cowan explains common scenarios where a doctor might not recommend Mohs Micrographic surgery, and might opt for another treatment modality instead.

The Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids in Dermatology

Learn about cannabinoids influence on skin growth control, homeostasis, melanoma, acne, pruritus, inflammation, atopic dermatitis, and other skin conditions.

Systemic Retinoids: Chemoprevention of Skin Cancer in Transplant Recipients

Solid organ transplant recipients have an increased incidence of skin cancer, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality post-transplantation. This article studies systemic retinoids, and other chemopreventative agents for high risk patients.

Factors that Affect Cure Rate in Mohs Surgery

Mohs micrographic surgery is often used to treat recurrent skin cancers. In this video, we ask Dr. Bryce Cowan whether previous attempts to remove skin cancer can affect the prognosis of Mohs surgery.

Basal Cell Carcinoma – Treatment

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common skin cancer. This article focuses on the treatment options available, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Methyl Aminolevulinate-PDT for Actinic Keratoses and Superficial Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers

Methyl aminolevulinate-hydrochloride cream (Metvix® [in Canada] and Metvixia® [in the US], Galderma) in combination with photodynamic therapy (PDT) provides an effective treatment option for actinic keratoses (AKs), superficial basal cell carcinoma (sBCC), and Bowen’s disease (BD).

The Controversy Surrounding Melanoma and Mohs Surgery

Patients often wonder why Mohs is not the standard treatment for invasive melanoma, the most dangerous of skin cancers. Dr. Cowan explains why the use of Mohs surgery is considered controversial for treating invasive melanomas.

Management of Non-melanoma Skin Cancers in Canada

A summary of the most comprehensive and up to date guideline for treating non-melanoma skin cancer in Canada. Background, primary prevention, actinic keratosis, managing basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma, are covered.

Update on Immunotherapeutics in the Management of Metastatic Melanoma

There are many new immunotherapeutics that have been approved or are in clinical and pre-clinical trials to expand our arsenal in the treatment of melanoma and other previously difficult to treat malignancies.

Reconstruction Surgery After Mohs Surgery

A very common question from patients concerning Mohs Surgery is “Will I need reconstruction surgery?” Dr. Bryce Cowan explains why reconstruction surgery is necessary to optimize the final outcome, and outlines the process and importance of this with some examples.

Skin Treatments Introduced in 2015

An overview and update of skin treatments introduced in 2015: Quick overview of drug name, indications and regulatory status. Deoxycholic acid injection, 5-fluorouracil 0.5% + salicylic acid 10% solution, Adapalene 0.3% + benzoyl peroxide 2.5% gel, and more are covered.

Mohs Surgery: The Gold Standard Treatment for BCC and SCC

Why is Mohs Surgery considered the world's gold standard treatment for BCC and SCCs? Dr. Bryce Cowan explains the types of cancers that are typically treated with Mohs surgery, and why the procedure has such as high cure rate.

Melanoma – Treatment

Melanoma is the rarest of the big 3 skin cancers, but it accounts for the majority of mortality. Discussion is focused on the treatment modalities for melanoma: Surgery, Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy, Biological Therapy.

Non-Invasive Gene Expression Testing to Rule Out Melanoma

The Pigmented Lesion Assay (PLA) is a gene expression test that helps rule out melanoma and has the potential to reduce the need for surgical biopsies of atypical pigmented skin lesions.

Concerns about Cancer Recurrence after Mohs Surgery

If a patient has skin cancer removed with Mohs Surgery, will they see another cancer, or a recurrence of the same cancer again? Unfortunately, the answer is that yes it's highly likely.

Mohs surgery in Canada, Numbers and Facts

In Canada, there are only a very limited number of qualified Mohs surgeons at this stage, but that number is growing. The health care system in Canada is run at the provincial level, and currently there are only a limited number of facilities where Mohs surgeons can practice at.

The Recovery Process after Mohs Surgery

Reconstruction surgery is required after any Mohs Surgery procedure. Typically the wounds will take over a year to completely heal after the surgery. 10% per month is a typical rate of healing, with the peak at around 2 months.

Immunological Strategies to Fight Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common human cancer, and is currently considered a global epidemic. Recently, there has been a growing interest in immunomodulators, or upregulators of the immune response.

The Advantages of Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Dr. Cowan explains when Mohs Micrographic Surgery is recommended, from a physician perspective. At the same time, he emphasizes the importance and necessity of patients doing their own research.

Surgical Excision and Histological Analysis in Mohs Surgery

In the third video of the Mohs Surgery series, plastic surgeon Dr. Bryce Cowan explains in further detail the combined process of surgical excision and real-time histological analysis of the excised tissue.

Introduction to Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery is an advanced technique for removing skin cancers that combines histological analysis under a microscope at real-time with surgical excision.

Predictive Testing of the Melanocortin 1 Receptor for Skin Cancer and Photoaging

Genetic predisposition to melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer extends far beyond the Fitzpatrick phenotype classification scheme. Testing aimed at improving prognostication may serve to limit the influence of certain risk factors.

Therapeutic Advances in Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

A variety of novel therapeutic modalities have recently become available for patients with cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL). Here, we offer a brief overview of these agents and discuss their place in the spectrum of current therapies for CTCL.

Imiquimod: An Immune Response Modifier

Imiquimod is an immune response modifier. Studies have shown that it has potent immunomodulatory effects and stimulates human peripheral mononuclear cells to release interferon alpha, sub-types α1,α2, α5, α6, and α8.

Canadian Skin Management in Oncology (CaSMO) Algorithm for Patients With Oncology Treatment-Related Skin Toxicities

The CaSMO (Canadian Skin Management in Oncology) algorithm focuses on general skincare measures to prevent or reduce the severity of cancer-treatment-related cutaneous toxicities.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma – Treatment

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common skin cancer. This article focuses on the various available treatments for SCC.

Metastatic Melanoma: Optimizing Outcomes by Managing Dermatologic Toxicities Associated with Novel Therapies

The last couple of years have seen the beginning of a new era in the treatment of metastatic melanoma. This article focuses on BRAF inhibitors and immune modulators which have demonstrated an overall survival benefit, and the importance of limiting adverse events.

Ingenol Mebutate: An Introduction

The incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancer continues to increase. This article discusses ingenol mebutate, its history, mechanism of action, and recent trial evidence for this emerging therapy are discussed.

Cutaneous Reactions to Anticancer Agents Targeting the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor: A Dermatology-Oncology Perspective

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is often overexpressed or dysregulated in solid tumors. Targeting the EGFR-mediated signaling pathway has become routine practice in the treatment of lung, pancreatic, head and neck, and colon carcinomas.

The Multifunctional Value of Sunscreen-containing Cosmetics

Cosmetic products containing ultraviolet light filtering agents are rapidly being developed and entering the marketplace. This article reviews formulary attributes, effective photoprotection, adherence, and behavior modification.

Nivolumab for Metastatic Melanoma

Melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer with a generally poor prognosis at Stage III-IV disease. Discussion centres around clinical trial data from phase I-III studies of Nivolumab (Opdivo®), a human monoclonal antibody which prevents immune inhibition by interacting with PD-1 on tumor cells.

Cutaneous Side-effects of EGFR Inhibitors and Their Management

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors are an increasingly important treatment option for metastasized cancer in patients. We present an overview of the various cutaneous side-effects associated with EGFR inhibition and discuss their respective therapeutic options.

Actinic Keratosis – Treatment

Actinic keratosis is a common skin condition and one that has the potential to become skin cancer. This article focuses on the available treatments: Topical drug therapy, surgical or chemical treatments, and photodynamic therapy.

Imiquimod 5% Cream (Aldara®) in the Treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma

Skin cancer, the most common human cancer, is now a global epidemic. The most prevalent form of nonmelanoma skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the incidence of which continues to increase prompting development of new treatment modalities designed to add or complement current therapies.

Skin Cancer and Genetics

Patients often ask whether they are likely to have skin cancer if their mother or father had this problem. Being a genetic combination of your parents, what you do inherent is the same skin types.

Vitamin B Derivative (Nicotinamide) Appears to Reduce Skin Cancer Risk

Recent studies have demonstrated the role of Vitamin B Derivative (Nicotinamide), in both topical and oral forms, as a chemopreventive agent against skin cancer.

Diagnostics and Devices Introduced in 2011

An overview and update of diagnostics and devices introduced in 2011: HPV RNA detection kit APTIMA® HPV Assay, HPV DNA detection kit cobas® HPV Test cobas® 4800 System, Microwave-based device (miraDry®) for hyperhydrosis and many more drugs and devices are covered.

Preparing for Mohs Surgery

Patients need to take some important steps prior to surgery to maximize the outcome of their procedure. The first step for a patient is to ensure that their surgeon is a qualified Mohs surgeon...

The Use Of Interleukins For Advanced Melanoma

Treatment of metastatic melanoma using traditional chemotherapy regimens has been disappointing. However, recent work with agents that modify the host’s immune system (e.g., interleukins) have provided limited but encouraging results. Interleukins are a group of molecules involved in immune cell signaling.

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