Frequently Asked Questions About Skin Cancer

Q. Has the University of Michigan Health System been involved with stem cell research relating to skin cancer?

Yes, two of our physicians have been working with stem cell research and its impact on skin cancer.

Q. I have a skin cancer diagnosis and want to be treated at the University of Michigan, what do I need to do?

Just call our Patient Care Center at 800-865-1125 and we'll take it from there.

Q. I'm not sure that I have skin cancer and want an expert opinion.

Your primary care physician can refer you to a dermatologist, including one at U-M. You can also call our Patient Care Center to learn more about our Dermatology services.

Q. Does UMHS treat all skin cancers?

Yes. We specialize in melanoma, Merkel cell carcinomas (cancers), and Mohs surgery for squamous and basal cell carcinoma (cancer).

Q. Will my insurance cover treatment at UMHS?

The University of Michigan accepts many insurance plans. Because every medical insurance policy is different, we recommend that you check with your insurance carrier to understand how much of the costs they will cover. Learn more about participating insurance by visiting www.uofmhealth.org/insurance.

Q. Are the specialty physicians for the Skin Cancer Program board certified?

Yes. At the University of Michigan Department of Dermatology, our faculty are experts in their fields, leading a wide range of clinical and research endeavors.

Q. Does the Skin Cancer Program have any clinical trials for my type of skin cancer?

We have a very active skin cancer research program. Read more about research into basal cell carcinoma in The Wages of Sun (and Genes) in the Summer, 2010 online issue of Medicine at Michigan.

Q. All of my medical records are available to send to Michigan. Do I have to travel to MI for an appointment?

Our physicians require that patients travel for a specialty opinion to ensure that we provide a thorough assessment and options for your individual medical situation.

Q. Can I have the treatment you recommend in my hometown?

In some situations treatment can be provided close to your residence. During your visit we encourage you to discuss with the U-M specialist if this may be an option for you.

Q. How many visits will I need to make?

Every case is unique, but our program strives to handle all your treatment with just one visit. That's why it's important before you come to UMHS that you have a diagnosis. We can partner with your dermatologist to complete preliminary and lab work to make your visit most productive.

Q. How long will my appointment take?

The length of your appointment will vary based on your specific needs. You can plan at least several hours for an evaluation and possible next steps.

Q. I'm not familiar with Ann Arbor, can you help me find a place to stay?

The U-M Patient and Visitor Accommodations program can assist you with your lodging needs. Call them at 800-544-8684 or send an on-line reservation request. Learn more by visiting www.med.umich.edu/hotels.

Q. What are the general fees if insurance doesn't cover treatment at UMHS?

Because each person's situation is unique, the fees associated with your visit can vary from one patient to another. To learn more about hospital billing call our Patient Care Center.

Make an appointment or have your questions answered

The Skin Cancer Patient Care Center is staffed by oncology nurses and is just a phone call away to answer your questions or to assist you in making an appointment.

Call us at 1-800-865-1125 or e-mail us to make an appointment or for the answers to any questions you may have.

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Cancer AnswerLine:  800-865-1125

Related Resources:

Merkel Cell Carcinoma Information Guide [pdf]
this document provides a list of websites, books, video and national organizations for patients with merkel cell skin cancer