Skin Cancer | Advanced Treatment at UnityPoint Health - Des Moines
UnityPoint Health - John Stoddard Cancer Center


Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. Although melanoma accounts for only about 4 percent of skin cancer cases, it causes about 79 percent of skin cancer deaths. The number of new cases of melanoma in the United States is on the rise.


Melanoma develops in the melanocyte cells of the skin's top layer, the epidermis. Melanocytes produce the pigment called melanin.


Because most of these melanocyte cells keep on making melanin, melanoma tumors are often brown or black. Melanoma most often appears on the trunk of fair-skinned men and on the lower legs of fair-skinned women, but can appear other places as well. Although having dark skin lowers the risk of melanoma, it does not mean a dark-skinned person will never develop the condition.


The key is to detect and treat melanoma early. Melanoma is almost always curable in its early stages; however, it can likely spread to other parts of the body.


At the John Stoddard Cancer Center, know that we will be here for you through every step of your battle with melanoma. Using our extensive experience dealing with every stage of this disease, our cutting-edge treatments, and vast resources, we will do everything we can to help.


Read on to find out about melanoma and what we have to offer. You'll see that from diagnosis through treatment and follow-up, you can count on us to provide quality, comprehensive care. Together, we can design the best possible treatment plan for you. Know that, along with hundreds of other cancer centers nationwide, we will continue our research to help find a cure for this disease.