September 20, 2013
FORT ATKINSON – Fort HealthCare dermatologist, Robert Glinert, MD, spent the last year completing Fellowship training in Cutaneous Oncology (skin cancer) from Harvard Medical School and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. His advanced training elevates his knowledge in the identification and treatment of melanoma and other skin cancers for area patients. Dr. Glinert returned to Fort Atkinson in July, and is delighted to be home.
Over the past few years, there have been several major breakthroughs in the understanding of skin cancer and it is becoming increasingly clear that most cancers have a genetic basis. Dermatology is entering a new phase in cancer diagnosis, and treatments are developing that will rely heavily on new molecular testing and targeted, personalized treatment.
Glinert states, “Since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, there has been an explosion of new insight into the causes and classification of different cancers. For example, it has become apparent that breast cancer is actually several different diseases. Similarly, there are marked differences in the genetic patterns of melanoma. Medications are being developed to provide targeted treatment.”
He continues, “Also, several cancers impair the body’s immune system’s ability to recognize and remove damaged cells. New medications have been developed to overcome cancer’s ability to weaken immunity.”
Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, most often occurring when UV rays from the sun or tanning beds damage DNA in the skin, causing tumors to form in the cells that produce melanin, the pigment that colors the skin. Melanomas usually develop in moles you may already have or appear as new moles, but hidden melanomas can develop beneath nails, on the scalp, on eyelids or eyeballs, and on mucosal tissue.
Unlike two other common forms of skin cancer—basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma—untreated melanoma is likely to spread to lymph nodes and internal organs. Once it spreads, the outcome is poor, which is why regular skin checks are so important.
With early detection and proper treatment, melanoma has a cure rate of about 95 percent. A biopsy is used to identify the melanoma and determine the cancer’s stage. All melanomas are surgically removed. In cases where a melanoma has spread to other parts of the body, doctors may also use chemotherapy, radiation therapy, biological therapy and gene therapy.
Fort HealthCare Dermatology is located on the third floor of Fort Memorial Hospital, 611 Sherman Avenue East in Fort Atkinson. Patients may make appointments with Dr. Glinert by calling (920) 568-1000, or seek a referral from their primary care physician.
Fort HealthCare Dermatology serves patients interested in improving or maintaining the condition of their skin. Common conditions such as itching, soreness, scaling and burning, while not life threatening, are annoying, affect appearance, and can result in self-consciousness and embarrassment. More serious diseases such as malignant melanomas and lymphomas demand immediate attention and treatment. To learn more, visit FortHealthCare.com/Dermatology.
On September 6, 2013, Robert Glinert, MD provided three lectures for the Hubert and Mary Moss Endowed Lectureship in Madison, Wis. He discussed recent developments in the diagnosis and treatment of common and unusual skin cancers. The Lectureship was established in 1997 to bring physician speakers to area physicians to present the latest developments and practices in dermatology and medicine. The University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Dermatology hosts the lectures, with support from the Meriter Foundation. Previous lecturers have been from the Mayo Clinic, University of Chicago, University of Colorado and Yale University.