• Cancer

    Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: Regenerative medicine helps with facial reconstruction after skin cancer

a medical illustration of normal skin and three types of skin cancer - squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma

For generations, people have intentionally and unintentionally exposed their skin to the sun. As a result, skin cancer has become the most common form of cancer in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Treatment options are limited for people with skin cancer, especially on the face and more specifically the nose.

Dr. Brittany E. Howard, a Mayo Clinic otolaryngologist, and head and neck surgeon, says the cancer often leaves a patient with deformities. And these patients sometimes require prosthetics. Dr. Howard specializes in facial plastic and reconstruction.

However, Dr. Howard says there is a relatively uncommon reconstructive surgery, using regenerative medicine techniques, that can help a patient return to a new normal and feel less self-conscious.

"After we treat the cancer, the specialized team can work with the patient all the way through the reconstruction surgery," says Dr. Howard.

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Howard talks about research by Mayo Clinic's Center for Regenerative Medicine and the Mayo Clinic surgical team that can reconstruct parts of a patient's face.