Melanoma and Skin Cancer
At Ochsner, our team of skin cancer specialists is committed to providing personalized and coordinated care of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma from diagnosis through treatment, long-term follow-up and survivorship.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. In fact, approximately 1.2 million new skin cancers are expected each year.
Call 504-842-3910 for more information or to make an appointment.
Dermatologists are skin cancer specialists; they have been trained to recognize basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Certain dermatologists can also help you if you have a pigmented spot that is changing or a new red bump that is bleeding. Surgeons in the Dermatology Department, however, can remove many skin cancers with conventional surgery. Some surgeries can be performed on an out-patient basis in the clinic, while others can be more intensive.
Working with plastic surgeons and surgical oncologists, the dermatologic surgeons also provide care for patients with malignant melanoma. Treatments available include psoralen ultraviolet A light (PUVA) therapy in the clinic, photophoresis in the Blood Bank or total skin electron beam treatment in Radiation Oncology.
A research protocol is underway to compare treatment with photophoresis to interferon for selected patients.
In the Dermatology Department, we screen skin for any indications of cancer/tumors. We provide total body screens and biopsies when necessary.
What to Expect
On the day of your screening, you do not have to do any special preparation. Appointments are typically 10 minutes long. Your doctor will inspect your skin for any possible cancerous areas. If an area has characteristics that indicate a possible skin cancer, the doctor may take a sample of tissue for biopsy. Depending on what your doctor finds during the examination, the doctor may also perform a total body skin exam.
What to Bring
For your first appointment, bring your insurance card, co-payment (you may pay by check or credit card), an identification card, a list of the medications you take and your medical record (if you are not already an Ochsner patient). If applicable, also bring a copy of your test results or x-rays and your medical records from other dermatologists.
For follow-up appointments, bring your insurance card, co-payment and identification card, as well as a list of skin care products and sun protection that you are using.
To make an appointment with one of our Ochsner Medical Clinic dermatologists, please call 504-842-3940. Calls are answered Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We ask that patients give us 24-hour notice of cancellation. If you are more than 20 minutes late for your appointment, we may ask you to reschedule.
The Dermatology Department is likewise active in promoting safe exposure to the sun as a means of preventing skin cancer. For some patients, sun damage can be reversed through dermabrasion, chemical peels or the applying of topical retinoids available by prescription, alphahydroxy acids and other natural acids to the skin.