High-Risk Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Clinic

Skin Clinic for Transplant Patients

Specialty care for patients at high risk for skin cancer

The High-Risk Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Clinic provides comprehensive and coordinated care for patients at high risk for skin cancer. This includes solid organ transplant recipients, patients on long-term immunosuppression, and other patients with an increased risk of skin cancer, such as those with a genetic predisposition to skin cancer and iatrogenicallly/drug-induced immunosuppression for inflammatory disorders. A medical and a surgical dermatologist provide clinical care that focuses on patient education, skin cancer prevention, and timely recognition and treatment of skin cancers. Our high-risk skin cancer team collaborates with other providers (primary care, transplant, general dermatology, among others) to achieve the highest quality individualized care.

Caring for those at greatest risk of skin cancer: emphasizing prevention and optimizing treatment

This specialty clinic has two primary goals: 

  1. To minimize the risk of skin cancer in high-risk patients through education and preventative care.
  2. To provide excellent and coordinated treatment when skin cancers develop.

Why seeing a dermatologist is important if you are a transplant recipient

Transplant recipients have a much higher risk of skin cancer than the general public due to the need for long term immunosuppressive medications. With immunosuppression, skin cancers can behave more aggressively than in non-transplant patients and, unfortunately, can occasionally be fatal. Seeing a dermatologist  is important for early detection and timely management of skin cancer.

When you should be seen

Ideally, patients should be seen prior to, or soon after, their transplant. This allows us to determine your risk of skin cancer post-transplant and develop an appropriate skin cancer prevention plan. However, even if you received a transplant years ago and/or have been on long-term immunosuppression, addressing your skin cancer risk and implementing a skin cancer prevention plan is worthwhile for your continuing health.

What to expect at your appointment

In addition to a thorough skin exam, patients will receive detailed education regarding their individual risk of skin cancer. Patients will also be taught ways to reduce their risk of developing skin cancer, as well as how to perform a self-skin exam and how to identify skin changes that may be concerning. An individualized follow-up plan will be provided based on your skin cancer risk.

Research advances patient care

As a natural addition to care received at OHSU, clinical research plays an important role for patients and doctors. Organ transplants are increasingly common and, thanks to advances in care through research, patients are surviving longer than ever before. With longer survival there is a potentially increasing risk of skin cancer in this high risk group. Participating in research can advance skin cancer prevention and treatment for solid organ transplant patients and others at high risk for skin cancer. Although this option is available, participation in a research study is not a requirement to receive care through the clinic and by its doctors.

Co-directors of the High-Risk Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Clinic

R. Samuel Hopkins, M.D.
R. Samuel Hopkins, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Dermatology
Medical Dermatologist
Justin Leitenberger, M.D.
Justin Leitenberger, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Dermatology
Dermatologic Surgeon