Skin/Melanoma and Soft Tissue Tumors
The Melanoma and Soft Tissue Tumor (MASTT) Service at The University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute specializes in the treatment of skin cancers and soft tissue tumors such as melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and Merkel cell carcinoma. We offer comprehensive treatment of both benign and malignant soft tissue tumors (sarcomas).
"The key to successful treatment of cancers is early diagnosis." says James M. Lewis, MD, Director of the MASTT Program. Members of the MASTT program are broadly trained in oncology and have expertise in the treatment of skin cancers and sarcomas.
Early detection and treatment of skin cancers provide an excellent opportunity for a cure. The MASTT program promotes the prevention and early detection of skin cancers through its outreach program Sunscreeners, which provides education and screening for all ages, community members, and healthcare providers.
Advanced treatment options for patients with skin cancer/melanoma include isolated limb infusion and clinical trialsThe incidence of skin cancer is higher than prostate, lung, breast, colon, uterine, ovarian and pancreatic cancer combined. More than 90% of all skin cancer cases are a result of sun exposure.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 865.305.6278 (MAST).
For early-stage melanoma, treatment most commonly consists of surgery. Some cases, particularly those involving late-stage melanoma, may require further treatment.
- Chemotherapy - not often used for melanoma but may be recommended if the cancer has spread to other areas of the body.
- Isolated Limb Infusion
- Radiation - High energy rays used to target and kill cancer cells.
- Lymphoscintigraphy - a test to identify the sentinel node
- Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy
- Skin Graft
- Wide Local Excision
- Targeted Therapy - a newer form of treatment using drugs to more precisely attack cancer cells
Clinical trials are research studies made available to patients that offer the newest treatments and test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat diseases. For more information, visit the Clinical Trials page or call 865.305.9773.
Melanoma and Soft Tissue Tumor Service
One call to the nurse navigator at the Melanoma and Soft Tissue Tumor Service by the patient or the referring physician results in a prompt evaluation and the expediting of care for each patient with findings suspicious for cancer or a known cancer diagnosis. Navigators are specially trained nurses who provide assistance to patients and families by coordinating care and providing information, education and support. Susan Noe, RN, BSN can be reached at 865.305.MAST (6278) or email Susan.
At the University of Tennessee Medical Center, we partner with most dermatology groups in our community. Dermatologists specialize in the treatment of both malignant and non-malignant skin problems. Many also offer cosmetic services. If you are diagnosed with a cutaneous malignancy your physicians in the MASTT program will partner with your dermatolotist to ensure safe follow-up and survivorship practices.
The board certified fellowship trained surgical oncologists at The University of Tennessee Medical Center work closely with a team of physicians at the Cancer Institute including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, plastic/reconstructive surgeons, genetic counselors, oncology nurse navigators and social workers to develop individualized cancer treatment plans.
Patients treated by the surgical oncologists benefit from discussion of their treatment plans in multdisciplinary conferences and from innovative treatment procedures not available elsewhere in the region or state.
At the University of Tennessee Medical Center, our board certified medical oncologists are experts in the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of cancer including solid tumors and hematologic malignancies such as leukemia and lymphoma. A medical oncologist is a physician who specializes in the medical treatment of cancer with chemotherapy as well as biological and hormonal therapy. Our medical oncologists work closely with the multidisciplinary oncology team to determine an individualized care plan and to coordinate the patient’s care. Evidence based treatment guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and other peer-reviewed, nationally recognized organizations are used as guidelines to ensure adherence to clinical practice standards (“best practices”) and to optimize the quality of care and patient outcomes.
A radiation oncologist is a board certified physician who uses radiation to treat cancer. Radiation can be given to cure cancer either alone or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy. It may also be given to relieve symptoms. In some cases, radiation may also be used to treat benign tumors. Our highly experience team of radiation oncologists offer multiple treatment options including 3D conformal radiation, intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), rotational RapidArc therapy, high and low dose brachytherapy, and stereotactic radiosurgery utilizing the CyberKnife. The radiation oncologists are part of the multidisciplinary team that reviews each patient’s case to determine an individualized treatment plan for each cancer patient.
The University of Tennessee Medical Center’s Department of Pathology provides expert surgical pathology services which are critical to the diagnosis and classification of melanoma and skin cancers. An accurate diagnosis involving both gross and microscopic examination of tissue, body fluids and cells is a requisite to determining an individualized treatment plan for each patient. Special tests and molecular markers are also performed by the Pathology Department which provide additional information important to the multidisciplinary team when recommending the most appropriate treatment. The Department of Pathology also offers a second review and opinion of slides and reports from other facilities. Our team of board certified pathologists includes pathology faculty members who specialize in specific cancers and have extensive experience evaluating and accurately characterizing cancerous tissue specimens.
Our MASTT radiologists are a distinguished team of board certified, highly skilled physicians with specialized training in the diagnosis of melanoma and soft tissue diseases. Our physicians have met the American Board of Radiology certification standards and work closely with referring physicians to ensure patients receive individualized imaging care.
Interventional Radiology (IR) is a subspecialty of radiology. These board certified physicians use image-guided minimally invasive techniques to diagnosis and treat cancer in almost every organ. These techniques represent a major advance in medicine eliminating the necessity for large incisions, decreasing risk and pain, and results in shorter recovery times than traditional surgical procedures. IR procedures are performed by specially trained interventional radiologists who use a variety of imaging tools to see internal structures of the body as they intervene. The images provide road maps that allow the interventional radiologist to guide these catheters or instruments through the body to site of the cancer to be treated.
The Integrative Healthcare program at The University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute is designed to provide supportive and integrative therapies for cancer patients and their caregivers during all stages of cancer care from diagnosis, treatment and beyond. More