Skin Cancers

Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Cancers

Duke dermatologists perform comprehensive skin screenings to detect skin cancer, including basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma, and use the most effective methods to treat skin cancer promptly. Our advanced training, and seamless coordination with experts throughout Duke, ensures you receive the best possible treatment, whether your skin cancer is contained to a small area, or has advanced and requires specialized care. We do everything possible to cure your skin cancer and help you maintain cancer-free skin.

Experienced Skin Cancer Care

Routine skin cancer screening identifies this common cancer early, and prompt treatment can cure it quickly. Knowing which type of cancer cell causes your skin cancer is important as well. Basal and squamous cancer cells, often referred to as non-melanoma skin cancers, are the most common form of skin cancer, and usually result from too much sun exposure. While they need to be removed completely, they are treated differently than the more aggressive melanoma

Our dermatologists detect and remove all skin cancers, and work closely with cancer specialists when melanoma is diagnosed. Our goal is to provide the best care possible for your skin cancer to achieve the best results.

Choose Duke for your skin cancer treatment because we offer:

  • Expertise in advanced skin cancers. While it’s rare for basal cell and squamous cell cancers to spread, it can happen. In addition, these cancers often grow locally and can damage structures on the face including the nose and ears. Treating them effectively is crucial to ensuring the best possible outcome. We choose the best medical or surgical treatment to treat early and advanced skin cancers to ensure you receive the most effective care for your condition.
  • A team approach to care. In addition to dermatologists, your team may include medical, surgical and radiation oncologists, otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat doctors), dermatopathologists (specialists who look at skin diseases at a cellular level), plastic surgeons, ophthalmologists and radiologists, when their expertise is needed to develop the most effective treatment plan for you.
  • Expertise in head and neck skin cancer. Our experienced ear, nose and throat surgeons are specially trained in removing skin cancers that involve the head and neck. Their expertise working exclusively on the head and neck increases the likelihood that you will experience positive outcomes for these complicated procedures.
  • Support to you and your family. Our comprehensive support services range from helping patients minimize the side effects of cancer treatment to coping with the emotional and psychological effects of diagnosis and treatment. View all of our cancer support groups in our event calendar.  


Your doctor will develop a treatment plan for your skin cancer based on location, how deeply it has penetrated the surface of your skin, and whether it has spread. Treatment options for basal and squamous cancers include:


Our dermatologists use the latest technologies to identify pre-cancerous moles and detect all types of skin cancer. Screening and diagnostic tests include:

Patient resources

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