Jul 28, 2022 Skin Cancer Care, Close to Home

Doctor Looking at a Mole

A new program at Clara Maass Medical Center brings top experts together to create personalized treatments.

Patients with concerns about skin cancer can now find advanced care close to home at the Cutaneous Malignancy Program at Clara Maass Medical Center (CMMC).

Franz O. Smith, MD, MAcM, MMM, FACS
Franz O. Smith, MD, MAcM, MMM, FACS

The center is led by Franz O. Smith, MD, MAcM, MMM, FACS, who also leads the Melanoma and Soft Tissue Oncology Program for hospitals in the RWJBarnabas Health Northern Region. “I’m committed to a multidisciplinary approach to caring for individuals with melanoma and other skin cancers,” says Dr. Smith, a board-certified, fellowship-trained surgical oncologist. “Our philosophy of care is to provide outstanding, patient-centered care—not only medical care, but the emotional and psychosocial support patients need as they face a cancer diagnosis.”

The Cutaneous Malignancy Program’s multidisciplinary team includes:

  • Surgical oncologists
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Medical oncologists
  • Radiologists
  • Pathologists
  • Nurses
  • Social workers
  • Psychosocial support
  • Nutrition
  • On-site pharmacy
  • Financial counselors

Treatment Options

In collaboration with cutaneous oncology (skin cancer) experts at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, the team creates an individualized treatment plan for each patient.

The program offers state-of-the-art evaluation, sentinel and lymph node biopsies by New Jersey’s leading melanoma surgeons, and accurate staging.

Through its partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute, the Cutaneous Malignancy Program offers patients advanced treatment options in immunotherapy and precision medicine, including clinical trials, many of which aren’t available elsewhere in the state.

Love Your Skin This Summer

Simple Habits Can Drastically Reduce Your Skin Cancer Risk.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight are a risk factor for melanoma and other skin cancers. Franz O. Smith, MD, a surgical oncologist with a clinical trial and research specialty in skin cancers at Clara Maass Medical Center and a member of RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group, shares his best advice for protecting your skin while you’re outside.

Dress for success. That includes wearing a hat with a brim that shades your face, ears and the back of your neck; loose-fitting, long-sleeved, tightly woven shirts; and long pants. Wear a T-shirt on the beach whenever you aren’t in the water. Look for fabrics that have an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) to guard against UV rays.

Slather on sunscreen. Use it even on slightly cloudy or cool days. It contains chemicals that scatter sunlight’s UV rays. Apply 30 minutes before you go outside. A Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 is sufficient as long as the sunscreen is reapplied every two hours.

Check it out. Regularly examine your skin for changes in moles during showers and in the mirror. Ask someone to check your back and neck, and if your hair is thinning, be sure to check your scalp as well.

Watch the kids. The vast majority of sun exposure occurs before age 18, so help your children take the necessary sun protection steps and let them see you doing the same.

Keep an eye on your eyes. Wraparound sunglasses are a great choice to protect eyes and skin around the eyes from UV rays.

Shun the brightest sun. When you’re outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., reduce your risk of skin damage by seeking shade under an umbrella, a tree or other shelter.

To learn more about skin cancer prevention and treatment at Clara Maass Medical Center or to make an appointment, call 844.CANCERNJ (844-226-2376).