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Skin Cancer

Get to Know the Skin You're In


Skin cancer is on the rise.

According to the American Cancer Society, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in his/her lifetime. In fact, more than 3 million Americans will be diagnosed this year alone, and melanoma will account for more than 76,000 cases of invasive skin cancer. But as dangerous as it can be, it is also very curable if caught early. We want you to know the importance of examining your skin and having changes checked by your doctor. Checking your skin monthly can save your life!



Adult men and women should examine skin regularly and see a doctor to evaluate new growths or changes in existing growths.


Certain physical features can be a risk factor such as a lighter natural skin color or skin that burns, freckles, reddens easily, or becomes painful in the sun; blue or green eyes; blond or red hair; or having certain types and a large number of moles. Other risk factors can include family or personal history of skin cancer, exposure to the sun through work and play, a history of sunburns, especially early in life, or a history of indoor tanning.


The most common sign of skin cancer is changes on your skin. To examine your skin for changes, check for the five most common features in a potentially abnormal spot: asymmetry, border, color, diameter and evolution. If a spot is asymmetrical, then one half of the spot does not match the other. Check the border to see if the edges are irregular, ragged, notched or blurred. If color is not the same all over and may include different shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue, then it may be an abnormal spot. Check the diameter to see if the spot is larger than 6 millimeters across (about ¼ inch – the size of a pencil eraser), although melanomas can sometimes be smaller than this. A spot is evolving if it changing in size, shape, or color. If you notice these changes on your skin, please talk to your doctor.



Disease site teams, or multidisciplinary care teams, are specialists from each diagnostic, treatment and supportive care discipline working together in the same facility where state-of-the-art cancer treatment is given, and relevant research is conducted.


Clinical trials are research studies that involve human beings in order to test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose or treat diseases. A drug must be part of a clinical trial before the FDA will approve it to be put on the market. Oncology clinical trials are conducted in order to test new drugs or a new combination of drug treatments, new surgery and radiation therapies and new medical devices.

Every cancer center patient is evaluated for participation in a clinical trial. Those who meet the criteria to participate in clinical research receive a standard of care treatment, but with the added benefit of a trial that may enhance their outcomes.

If interested in volunteering to participate in a clinical research trial, or if you have concerns about the conduct of clinical research, please contact the Clinical Research office at (225) 215-1353, or by email at

Trial Number:  EA6134

Title:  A Randomized Phase III Trial of Dabrafenib + Trametinib Followed by Ipilimumab + Nivolumab at Progression vs. Ipilimumab + Nivolumab Followed by Dabrafenib + Trametinib at Progression in Patients with Advanced BRAFV600 Mutant Melanoma

Purpose:  This randomized phase III trial studies how well initial treatment with ipilimumab and nivolumab followed by dabrafenib and trametinib works and compares it to initial treatment with dabrafenib and trametinib followed by ipilimumab and nivolumab in treating patients with stage III-IV melanoma that contains a mutation known as BRAFV600 and cannot be removed by surgery. Ipilimumab and nivolumab may block tumor growth by targeting certain cells. Dabrafenib and trametinib may block tumor growth by targeting the BRAFV600 gene. It is not yet known whether treating patients with ipilimumab and nivolumab followed by dabrafenib and trametinib is more effective than treatment with dabrafenib and trametinib followed by ipilimumab and nivolumab.

Physicians: Drs. Bryan BienvenuVince CataldoDavid HansonDaniel LaVieSobia OzairKellie SchmeeckleJoseph ShowsDerrick SpellSiva Yadlapati, Lauren ZatarainJames CarinderJack Saux; and Donald Hill.

Offered in:  Baton Rouge, Covington, Houma

Trial Number:  SWOG S1801

Title: A Phase II Randomized Study of Adjuvant Versus Neoadjuvant MK-3475 (Pembrolizumab) For Clinically Detectable Stage III – IV High Risk Melanoma

Purpose: This phase II trial studies how Pembrolizumab works before and after surgery in treating patients with stage III-IV high-risk melanoma.

Physicians: Drs. Bryan BienvenuVince CataldoDavid HansonKellie SchmeeckleJoseph ShowsDerrick SpellSiva YadlapatiJames CarinderJack SauxDaniel LaVieSobia OzairLauren Zatarain and Donald Hill.

Offered in:  Baton Rouge, Covington, Houma

Trial Number: CBI cSCC

Title: Development and Validation of a Gene Expression Assay to Predict the Risk of Recurrence Disease in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Purpose: To identify a gene expression and/or mutational profile that can separate primary cSCC tumors that have a high risk of recurrence compared to primary cSCC tumors that have a low risk of recurrence using RT-PCR and RNA sequencing (RNASeq).

Physicians: Dr. John Lyons

Offered in: Baton Rouge




Don’t let your fun in the sun turn into a burn! Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is educating local youth about sun safety to help reduce chances of skin cancer as an adult.

Download these PDFs to learn about how you can protect your skin and reduce your chances for cancer later in life: