Saints Dermatology Center of Excellence Breaks Ground on State-of-the-Art-Facility 

Oklahoma City, OK - Saints Dermatology Center of Excellence broke ground Tuesday, April 17, 2012, on its 9,000+ square foot, state-of–the art facility scheduled to open later this year on I-235, just north of Britton Road, in north Oklahoma City. The Saints Dermatology Center of Excellence (COE) will be a specialized skin cancer, cosmetic, and medical dermatology treatment center offering comprehensive and contemporary care to patients. The Saints Dermatology COE will be a one-of-kind facility in Oklahoma and is expected to become the nationally recognized leader in detection and treatment of all dermatologic conditions.

The Saints Dermatology Center of Excellence is a part of Saints Medical Group, a physician organization that now includes over 100 physicians practicing in multiple specialties. Through its affiliation with St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, the Saints Dermatology COE will house a teledermatology suite, which will create a portal for state-wide skin cancer awareness and early detection. It will provide a vital link to rural hospitals and clinics to aid primary care physicians in diagnosing and treating patients with various skin conditions.

Saints Dermatology Breaks Ground

"We are excited about the opportunity to provide the highest quality skin care to people throughout the state of Oklahoma," said Renee Grau, M.D., board certified dermatologist and Medical Director. "Our dedicated physicians and experienced staff will use this facility to bring an even greater level of dermatological services to our patients."

"St. Anthony is pleased to be associated with this visionary group of highly trained dermatologists. The array of comprehensive services they will offer will be unrivaled in the region, and the use of new technology such as teledermatology will result in earlier detection of skin disorders and more convenient access to needed medical expertise for residents outside the metropolitan area," said Steve Powell, Vice President, Healthfirst Physician Management Services.

In addition to providing access to dermatology care in rural, underserved areas, the Saints Dermatology COE will also increase access to care for the Oklahoma City metro area. The average current wait time to see a dermatologist in the area is 60 days.

Saints Dermatology COE will house a light therapy unit (used for psoriasis, eczema, morphea, and lymphoma of the skin), a cosmetic unit offering comprehensive cosmetic procedures, including laser therapy and Ultherapy (one of only two instruments in the state), two Mohs surgery suites (see Mohs reference below), and general and medical dermatology units, in addition to the teledermatololgy suite. Ultherapy is a new type of non-surgical, non-invasive procedure for the face that uses ultrasound and the body’s own natural healing process to lift, tone, and tighten loose skin. The FDA-approved device utilizes the safe, time-tested energy of ultrasound to stimulate the deep structural support layers of the skin—including those typically addressed in a surgical facelift—without disturbing the surface of the skin.

More information about the dermatologists practicing at Saints Dermatology Center of Excellence can be found at



50% of all new cancer cases in the U.S. population annually are skin cancers. Skin cancers are associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and economic burden. The incidence of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers has doubled over the last decade, and best estimates indicate over 2 million skin cancers are diagnosed each year in the United States.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually.1

Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. 2 One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.3

Over the past 31 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. 4

Nearly 800,000 Americans are living with a history of melanoma and 13 million are living with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer, typically diagnosed as basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.5

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer; an estimated 2.8 million are diagnosed annually in the US.8 BCCs are rarely fatal, but can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer.9 An estimated 700,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the US,10 resulting in approximately 2,500 deaths.2

Between 40 and 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have either skin cancer at least once.11 In 2004, the total direct cost associated with the treatment for nonmelanoma skin cancer was $1.5 billion.7

The number of non-melanoma skin cancers in the Medicare population went up an average of 4.2 percent every year between 1992 and 2006.1 In adults 65 or older, melanoma treatment costs total about $249 million annually. About 40 percent of the annual cost for melanoma goes to treating stage IV (advanced) cancers, though they account for only three percent of melanomas.5

The Center will offer Mohs Micrographic surgery for skin cancer treatment. Malignant skin cancers are classified as melanoma (>4% of all skin cancers) and non-melanoma. The non-melanoma skin cancers are: (1) basal cell carcinomas; or (2) squamous cell carcinomas. Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It is the leading cause of death from skin disease. Non-melanoma skin cancers have a mortality rate of >1%.

If confirmed malignant then the most frequent treatment is Mohs microsurgery. Mohs surgery involves surgically removing the cancerous tissue. Small skin cancers most often are removed by the Dermatologist in the office, and larger skin cancers are referred to a Dermatology surgical specialist who performs the procedure in a surgical facility.

As in the treatment of all cancer, early detection is the key to successful treatment of skin cancers. Skin-cancer screening is important for detecting premalignant and malignant skin lesions at an early stage when they may be more amenable to intervention.Seven Studies have shown that skin-cancer screening for high-risk populations is associated with high detection rate and improved treatment outcomes.8-10 However, in geographically remote or medically underserved communities, lack of access to dermatologists is often associated with reduced opportunities for skin-cancer surveillance and early intervention. There are 65 Dermatologists in Oklahoma, most of whom have offices in OKC or Tulsa.

1. Rogers, HW, Weinstock, MA, Harris, AR, et al. Incidence estimate of nonmelanoma skin cancer in the United States, 2006. Arch Dermatol 2010; 146(3):283-287.
2. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2010. Link. Accessed January 24, 2011.
3. Robinson, JK. Sun exposure, sun protection, and vitamin D. JAMA 2005; 294:1541-43.
4. Stern, RS. Prevalence of a history of skin cancer in 2007: results of an incidence-based model. Arch Dermatol 2010; 146(3):279-282.
5. Altekruse SF, Kosary CL, Krapcho M, et al. SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2007, Link. Accessed January 24, 2011.
6. The Lewen Group, Inc. The burden of skin diseases 2005. The Society for Investigative Dermatology and The American Academy of Dermatology Association. 2005.
7. Bickers DR, Lim HW, Margolis D et al. The burden of skin diseases: 2004 a joint project of the American Academy of Dermatology Association and the Society for Investigative Dermatology. J Amer Acad Dermatol 2006; 55(3):490-500.
8. Rogers, Howard. ?Your new study of nonmelanoma skin cancers.? Email to The Skin Cancer Foundation. March 31, 2010.
9. Squamous Cell Carcinoma. American Academy of Dermatology. Link. Accessed November 1, 2010.
10. Rogers, Howard. ?Your new study of nonmelanoma skin cancers.? Email to The Skin Cancer Foundation. April 1, 2010.
11. Sun Protection. Cancer Trends Progress Report – 2009/2010 Update. National Cancer Institute. Link. Accessed November 1, 2010.

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