University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications


Management of non-melanoma skin cancer

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Nursing; UMass Memorial Division of Dermatology

Publication Date


Document Type



Carcinoma, Basal Cell; Carcinoma, Squamous Cell; Humans; Neoplasm Recurrence, Local; Skin Neoplasms


Dermatology | Neoplasms | Nursing | Oncology | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases


OBJECTIVES: To review types of, and treatment for, non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC): basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and less common NMSC.

DATA SOURCES: Standards of care, dermatology texts, peer-reviewed journals.

CONCLUSION: BCC grows slowly and rarely metastasizes; some BCC subtypes can be aggressive and destructive. Early treatment of SCC is usually successful; untreated SCC will penetrate underlying tissue, invade lymph nodes, and metastasize. Treatment options for NMSC are based on patient and tumor characteristics, which determine whether a lesion is low or high risk for cancer recurrence after treatment.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Nurses are integral for educating patients about measures to prevent new skin cancers and for monitoring for recurrence of NMSC.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Semin Oncol Nurs. 2013 Aug;29(3):182-94. doi: 10.1016/j.soncn.2013.06.004. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Seminars in oncology nursing

PubMed ID