U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center
Skin Cancer Program
1500 E. Medical Center Dr., Level 1
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
There is hope, innovation and support available for those with basal cell cancer or squamous cell cancer here at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center
Patient Care and TreatmentPatients who come to our clinic receive a preoperative consultation to assess, coordinate, plan and prepare you for surgery. In many cases this can be done on the phone without scheduling a preoperative visits. All patients have their biopsy slides reviewed by a U-M pathologist before receiving a treatment plan.
For low-risk lesions, dermatologists can perform a burning and scraping or standard surgical excision to remove the tumor. For higher-risk tumors, such as those in certain locations like the head and neck or hands, large tumors, those with an aggressive microscopic growth pattern, recurrent tumors, or those occurring in an area previously treated with radiation therapy, Mohs surgery is a highly effective treatment. It is the treatment of choice for these cases because it offers the highest cure rate while removing as little normal tissue as possible, resulting in the best cosmetic outcomes.
The U-M Dermatology Cutaneous Surgery & Oncology Program is a leader in Mohs surgery, which has been available at U-M since 1955. U-M's fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons receive extensive post-graduate training in both Mohs surgery and complex reconstruction. They perform approximately 3,500 of these surgeries per year and are experts in their field.
Mohs surgery is performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthetic. One of our surgeons will remove a layer of cancerous skin, while taking as little normal tissue as possible. The tissue will then be examined under a microscope and the process repeated as many times as needed until the surgeon determines the cancer is gone. In most cases tissue reconstruction is done in the same procedure room on the same day. If a large area of tissue was removed, a U-M facial plastic or oculoplastic surgeon may assist with the reconstruction. This can frequently be anticipated during the preoperative consultation and surgeries are coordinated in advance. Within one to two weeks most patients are fully recovered. If you had sutures, you will usually return about one to two weeks later to have them removed.
SupportSince our program is part of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, our patients have access to Patient/Family Support Services. To fully understand what this means, please take time to visit the For Cancer Center Patients area of this website. We outline the services available to our patients at every point in their care.
Make an appointment/referralTo make a first-time appointment, please call the Patient Care Center at 1-800-865-1125. If you would like to refer a patient, please contact our M-Line service: 800-962-3555. For more information, visit our Make an Appointment web page.
Still have questions?The nurses at Cancer AnswerLine™ have answers. Call 1-800-865-1125 and you'll get a personal response from one of our registered nurses, who have years of experience in caring for people with cancer.