One out of every five people in the United States will develop skin cancer at some point during their life. Treatment for skin cancer depends on the type, location, and stage. Somerset Surgical Associates, LLC, in Somerville, New Jersey, performs skin cancer surgery, including sentinel lymph node biopsy for melanoma. To discuss surgery for skin cancer, call the office or schedule a consultation online today.

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What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer includes any type of cancer that originates from your skin cells. It’s the most common type of cancer in the United States and is highly curable when found and treated during the early stages.

What are the types of skin cancer?

Skin cancer type depends on the origin of the cancer. Some of the more common types of skin cancer include:

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)

BCC is an abnormal growth of basal cells, the cells in the epidermis that produce new skin cells. It is the most common type of skin cancer. BCC appears as a flesh-colored growth or pink patch.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

SCC is an abnormal growth of squamous cells, the flat cells located on the surface of the epidermis. SCC causes red or scaly patches of skin.


Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer because it spreads quickly to other parts of the body. Melanoma is an abnormal growth of melanocytes, pigment-producing cells. This type of skin cancer looks like an abnormal mole and may develop in an existing mole or appear on its own.

What are the treatments for skin cancer?

Removal of the cancerous lesion is the primary treatment for skin cancer. There are many methods for removing skin cancer, including:

Excisional surgery

Excisional surgery removes the cancerous lesion along with some of the surrounding healthy tissue.

Mohs surgery

Mohs surgery is a specialized surgical technique that removes skin cancer one layer at a time, preserving the surrounding healthy tissue.


For patients with melanoma on a finger or toe that’s spread deep into the skin, treatment may involve amputation of the affected appendage.

Lymph node dissection

Lymph node dissection is performed in people with melanoma and involves removing the lymph nodes in the area around the cancer.

The type of surgery you need depends on the cancer type and stage. For patients with metastatic melanoma (spread to other parts of the body), treatment may involve surgery that removes the cancer from the affected body parts.

What is a sentinel lymph node biopsy for skin cancer?

Not everyone with melanoma needs a lymph node dissection. The sentinel lymph node is the lymph node closest to the melanoma and the one most likely to contain cancer.

During a sentinel lymph node biopsy, surgeons at Somerset Surgical Associates, LLC, remove and evaluate this lymph node to look for signs of cancer and determine the next steps.

To find out more about skin cancer surgery, call Somerset Surgical Associates, LLC, or schedule an appointment online today.