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High Risk Skin Cancer Clinic (Non-Melanoma)

The High Risk Skin Cancer Clinic (HRSCC) at Massachusetts General Hospital provides comprehensive care for those patients at greater risk for non-melanoma skin cancer, specifically solid organ transplant recipients and patients with certain types of leukemia.

  • Phone: 617-726-6097

The High Risk Skin Cancer Clinic (HRSCC) at Massachusetts General Hospital is a program designed to provide comprehensive care for those at elevated risk for non-melanoma skin cancer (e.g. squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma). The majority of patients are solid organ transplant recipients, those with certain types of leukemia, and patients with genetic syndromes that predispose them to skin cancer.

The HRSCC was established in 2012 and combines the expertise of medical and surgical dermatologists as well as collaboration with Mass General's Transplant Center, Cancer Center, and departments of Otolaryngology (ENT) and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 

The focus of the program is early diagnosis of skin cancers, effective treatments, and preventative strategies to minimize the risk of future tumors.

The HRSCC specialty clinic is specifically designed for patients who have/had one of the following conditions:

  1. An organ transplant or is a candidate for an organ transplant
  2. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
  3. Four (4) or more diagnosed skin cancers within the past 12 months

Please note:  If you do not fit the above criteria, please contact our medical dermatology department at 617-764-2914.   At this time, there is a significant wait time for new patient appointments.

What to Expect

During an initial consultation, the patient's skin is examined by one of the clinic's co-directors and suspected skin cancers are addressed. Based on the patient's current skin cancer burden, history of previous skin cancers, and pre-cancers, degree of immune system compromise, and history of sun exposure, an action plan is put into place to address the following: 

  1. Treatment of current skin cancers using methods such as Mohs surgery, surgical excision, electrodessication and curettage, or in certain situations light-based therapy or topical agents.
  2. Strategies to prevent future skin cancers through vigilant sun protection and in appropriate cases with the use of oral, topical, and/or light-based therapies.
  3. A follow-up plan for return to the HRSCC for regular skin examinations.

Dermatologists at the HRSCC work closely with referring services such as the Mass General Transplant Center to tailor a patient's skin cancer action plan to fit their unique medical situation. In the case of solid organ transplant patients, there is often a close collaboration with the transplant team to modify the use of immunosuppressive agents and to utilize oral and/or topical treatments that may be helpful in decreasing the number of new skin cancers.

In rare instances where non-melanoma skin cancer (e.g. squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma) is more advanced and has spread to lymph nodes or to distant organs, the directors of the HRSCC participate in a multi-disciplinary tumor board comprised of representatives from the departments of Otolaryngology (ENT), medical oncology, and radiation oncology who work together to plan the most appropriate interventions to maximize the chance of cure and quality of life. 

 Contact us

High Risk Skin Cancer Clinic
Massachusetts General Hospital
Department of Dermatology
50 Staniford Street, Suite 270
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 726-6097

 

 

Co-directors, Dr. Joi Carter and Dr. Jordan Cummins are dermatologists who founded the HRSCC in 2012 in response to the need for coordinated skin cancer care in patients with a high burden of non-melanoma skin cancer, namely solid organ transplant recipients, patients with certain leukemias, and those with genetic syndromes that predispose them to cancer. Drs. Cummins and Carter focus on the prevention and treatment of skin cancers through the use of:

Patient Resources

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After Transplantation Reduce Incidence of Skin Cancer 

  • topical treatments
  • photodynamic light therapy
  • oral therapies
  • skin surgeries

 

Dr. Victor Neel, another member of the team is a dermatologist with specialized training in dermatologic surgery who is experienced in providing Mohs surgery.

The clinic is designed to provide rapid access to patients with concerning new skin lesions.  In additon, Drs. Carter, Cummins, and Neel work closely with other services at Mass General including the Transplant Center. Cancer Center, and departments of Otolaryngology (ENT) and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to provide multidisciplinary care in more advanced cases.

Future plans for the clinic include the development of clinical trials to investigate the new ways to decrease the burden of skin cancer among these high risk populations.

By combining specialists in both surgical and medical dermatology, the HRSCC offers high risk patients the coordinated care that is necessary to successfully manage skin cancer.  It is the philosophy of the HRSCC that many challenges faced by the patients with a high burden of skin cancer can be overcome with diligent clinical care and efforts to advance both cancer prevention and treatment. 

 Contact us

High Risk Skin Cancer Clinic
Massachusetts General Hospital
Department of Dermatology
50 Staniford Street, Suite 270
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 726-6097

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell cancer, sometimes called non-melanoma skin cancer, usually appears as a small, fleshy bump or nodule on the head, neck, or hands. Occasionally, these nodules appear on the trunk of the body, usually as flat growths.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a cancer of the blood in which too many lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, are produced by the bone marrow and by organs of the lymph system.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell skin cancer (sometimes referred to as non-melanoma carcinoma) may appear as nodules, or as red, scaly patches of skin.

The following related clinical trials and research studies are currently seeking participants at Massachusetts General Hospital. Search for clinical trials and studies in another area of interest.

High Risk Skin Cancer Clinic

Massachusetts General Hospital
Department of Dermatology
50 Staniford Street, Suite 270
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-6097
Fax: 617-726-7417

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes

Next Steps:

  • Phone: 617-726-6097