Skin Cancer

We offer a full range of treatments for skin cancer, with a focus on minimally invasive procedures that can cure skin cancer while preserving your appearance.

We offer a full range of treatments for skin cancer, with a focus on minimally invasive procedures that can cure skin cancer while preserving your appearance.

We offer a full range of treatments for skin cancer, with a focus on minimally invasive procedures that can cure skin cancer while preserving your appearance.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. If caught early, most types of skin cancer can be cured.

Types and Symptoms of Skin Cancer

The main types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Each type has a slightly different appearance.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma usually appears on the face or other areas of the body that are often exposed to the sun. It's the most common type of skin cancer, and it's highly curable if caught early.

It can appear as any of the following:

  • A flesh-colored, pearl-like bump
  • A pinkish patch of skin
  • A sore that scabs over and reopens

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma often appears on the face or other areas of the body that are often exposed to the sun. It may sometimes occur in other areas, especially in people with darker skin. It's the second most common type of skin cancer, and it's highly curable if caught early.

It can appear as any of the following:

  • A scaly red patch
  • An ulcer that heals and reopens
  • A firm red bump

Melanoma

Melanoma appears in a variety of areas, depending on the person. In men, it often appears on the face or torso. In women, it often appears on the legs or torso. In people with darker skin, it's more likely to appear on the palms or soles of the feet. It's less common but more aggressive than other skin cancers. If caught before it spreads, it can be cured, but it's difficult to treat in its advanced stages.

It can appear as any of the following:

  • A new dark spot on your skin
  • An existing mole that changes in color or appearance

How to Get Help for Skin Cancer

If you notice any skin changes that match the descriptions above, make an appointment with a dermatologist at Rush. If your insurance requires it, you may need to first get a referral from a primary care provider.

Skin Cancer Treatment at Rush

At Rush, you'll have access to a full range of advanced treatments for all types of skin cancer. Your dermatologist — and other specialists, as necessary — will work with you to create a treatment plan.

Depending on your type of skin cancer, the plan may include one or more of the following:

  • Skin biopsy: The first step in treatment is usually a biopsy, in which a dermatologist takes a small sample of the lesion. The biopsy allows your doctor to confirm your suspected diagnosis. In some cases, a biopsy completely removes the skin cancer and you won't need further treatment.
  • Surgery to remove the cancer: If your skin biopsy does not completely remove the cancer, your dermatologist may recommend surgery. The surgery will likely remove the cancer and a small amount of the healthy skin around it.
  • Mohs surgery: Dermatologists at Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora offer Mohs surgery. Designed to preserve healthy skin (and your appearance), it removes cancer in thin layers. It's an effective treatment for basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas.
  • Photodynamic therapy: During photodynamic therapy, you receive an injection of a drug that binds to cancer cells. Your doctor will use the laser to activate the drug to destroy cancer cells.
  • Topical therapy: Some skin cancers can be treated with topical medications, including creams or liquids applied to the skin.
  • Advanced melanoma treatments: Melanoma experts at Rush offer a variety of advanced treatments for melanoma, the most aggressive type of skin cancer. These include immunotherapies and isolated limb infusion (ILI). ILI delivers chemotherapy to a limb affected by melanoma while protecting the rest of the body from chemotherapy's toxicity.

Rush Excellence in Skin Cancer Care

  • One of the nation's top cancer centers: U.S. News & World Report has ranked Rush University Medical Center among the top 50 hospitals in the country for cancer care.
  • Leading-edge treatments: Dermatologists across the Rush system offer the most advanced skin cancer treatments available. These include Mohs surgery, the most effective treatment for basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Available at Rush Copley Medical Center, Mohs surgery preserves more healthy skin and leads to less scarring than traditional skin cancer removal. Rush also is one of the few health systems to offer isolated limb infusion (ILI) for melanoma. ILI delivers chemotherapy to a limb affected by melanoma while protecting the rest of the body from chemotherapy's toxicity.
  • A team equipped for complex cases: If your skin cancer is complicated or in a delicate area, you may need surgeons with special expertise. Rush's plastic surgeons and head and neck surgeons have expertise in skin cancer removal procedures that preserve your appearance and ability. They'll work closely with you and your care team as needed.
  • Convenient screenings and follow-up care: People who've had skin cancer have a higher risk of developing it again. After treatment, you'll need regular follow-up screenings to catch any recurrence early. To make screenings and other follow-up care as convenient as possible, Rush dermatologists offer services at multiple locations.
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Skin Cancer Locations

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Chicago

Rush tower

Rush University Medical Center

1620 W Harrison St
Chicago, IL 60612

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Hospital Hours:

24 Hours

Visitor Hours:

8:00 am – 8:00 pm
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Aurora/Fox Valley

Rush Copley Medical Center

Rush Copley Medical Center

2000 Ogden Ave
Aurora, IL 60504

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Hospital Hours:

24 Hours

Visitor Hours:

11:00 am – 7:00 pm
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Lisle

Rush Cancer Care in Lisle

430 Warrenville Rd
Suite 200
Lisle, IL 60532

Office (630) 724-870
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Hours:

Mon – Fri: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Sat – Sun: Closed
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Oak Brook

Rush Oak Brook exterior

Rush Oak Brook

2011 York Rd
Oak Brook, IL 60523

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Hours:

Mon – Thu: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm (Every first and third Saturday; for MRI, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. every Saturday)
Sun: Closed
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Oak Park

Rush Oak Park Hospital

Rush Oak Park Hospital

520 S Maple Ave
Oak Park, IL 60304

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Hospital Hours:

24 Hours

Visitor Hours:

11:00 am – 8:00 pm
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