Melanoma / Skin Cancer Program
The Melanoma / Skin Cancer Program provides advanced, research-based care, from expert examination and staging using molecular testing and imaging to the newest therapies, including those being tested in clinical trials.
Our interdisciplinary team of melanoma experts includes specialists in dermatology, plastic surgery, surgery, medical oncology, pathology, and palliative care. In our Interdisciplinary Melanoma Clinic, appointments with these specialists are coordinated on a single day, to provide each patient with the very best individualized treatment plan and eliminate unnecessary delays. We collaborate closely with the referring physician and other care providers, and provide a range of medical and supportive services that are focused on the individual and family, not just the disease.
As part of a nationally recognized cancer research and treatment center, the Melanoma / Skin Cancer Program conducts innovative research to understand how melanoma develops, and how to better prevent and treat it. Our scientific discoveries shape the care our patients receive, and provide the most advanced and comprehensive care available in New Hampshire and northern New England.
- Our interdisciplinary team: Specially trained dermatopathologists, experts in both dermatology and pathology, are part of our team of specialists who focus specifically on melanoma and offer patients options based on the latest research and new approaches to treatment. In our Interdisciplinary Melanoma Clinic, individual appointments with these different specialists are coordinated on a single day.
- Specialized diagnostics: Expert treatment begins with advanced testing for the most accurate diagnosis and staging such as CT, MRI and PET scans; ultrasound evaluation of the nodal basins and sentinel lymph node biopsy to determine the extent of the disease; and molecular testing, for example V600EBRAF, to learn more about the tumor and how it will likely respond to different treatments.
- Genetic risk assessment: For patients with a strong family history of melanoma, we offer genetic testing and risk assessment through our Familial Cancer Program.
- Patient- and family-centered care: Every patient receives expert diagnosis, a tailored treatment plan, and compassionate care centered on the patient and their family. Our integrated cancer care includes a range of services such as physical therapy to manage lymphedema and palliative care to enhance comfort and quality of life from the moment of diagnosis through all phases of treatment.
- Basic and clinical research: Our doctors and scientists are making new discoveries about the biology of melanoma and developing novel treatments through clinical trials. As one of 27 research institutions in the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN), funded by the National Cancer Institute, we are working to learn more about agents that boost the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer.
- Prevention: Information on preventing skin cancer includes tools from the SunSafe programs, which preschools, schools, sports teams, town recreation programs, parents, and health care providers can use to promote sun protection among children.