Video Course: Skin Cancer: Beyond the Basics

Ruth Werner

This course has closed captioning. Click "cc" on the video player to view.

Join pathology expert Ruth Werner to review and update your knowledge about the most common kind of cancer that affects humans: skin cancer. Strengthen your identification skills with a wide-ranging gallery of skin cancer examples in various stages and on various skin tones. Learn the details of each major type of skin cancer including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, and Merkel cell carcinoma, issues around skin cancer in people with skin of color, some differential diagnoses, and the vital skill of communicating your findings to clients in ways that are non-alarmist and within your scope of practice. 

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Course Outline
  • Skin structure review
  • Pathophysiology of skin cancers
  • Basal cell carcinoma (BCC): nodular BCC, pigmented BCC, superficial BCC, morpheaform BCC
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC): cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, actinic keratosis and actinic cheilitis, leukoplakia, Bowen disease
  • Melanoma: superficial spreading melanoma, lentigo melanoma, acral lentiginous melanoma, nodular melanoma, ABCDE scale
  • Merkel cell carcinoma
  • Other kinds of cancer seen in the skin
  • Things that look like cancer, but aren’t cancer
  • Massage therapy and skin cancer
  • Skin cancer and skin of color
  • Skin cancer prevention
  • If your client has an indicator for skin cancer
Learning Objectives

Having viewed the online massage therapy CE course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the demographics, pathophysiology, and common treatment options for several forms of basal cell carcinoma, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, and Merkel cell cancer.
  • Recognize signs of possible skin cancer that need a professional referral.
  • List several skin conditions that might be confused for skin cancer.
  • Predict risks, benefits, and decision points about massage therapy for people who have or have had skin cancer.
  • Communicate what they see on clients’ skin without creating unnecessary alarm.
Ruth Werner

Ruth Werner is an award-winning educator, writer, and retired massage therapist with a passionate interest in massage therapy research and the role of bodywork for people who struggle with health. Her groundbreaking textbook, A Massage Therapist's Guide to Pathology is now in its 7th edition and is published by Books of Discovery. Werner is a columnist for Massage & Bodywork magazine and Massage New Zealand.  She teaches continuing education workshops all over the world and hosts the “I Have a Client Who …” podcast on the ABMP Podcast Network. Reach her at www.ruthwerner.comLearn more from Ruth Werner through ABMP's Pocket Pathology quick-reference app with key information on nearly 200 common pathologies!

Topics and Techniques

This online massage therapy CE course is available to you on demand to access, learn, and earn CE whenever and wherever it’s most convenient for you!


Visit the ABMP Education Center FAQ page for a full list of resources.

Q: Is this CE course approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) for CE credit?
A: Yes! All of the courses are approved under ABMP’s NCBTMB Approved Provider account (451086-09).

Q: How do I earn a CE certificate for this video-based course?
A: After you complete the webinar video, a quiz will appear on the page. Earn a CE certificate by scoring 70% or higher on the course quiz.

Q: Can I earn a CE certificate for this course more than once?
A: Learners can earn one CE certificate for each course.

Q: How do I access my CE certificates?
A: CE certificates are available on your “My CE Transcripts” page and on the course page. Visit your “My CE Transcript” page by clicking “My CE” on the navigation bar at the top of your screen.

Copyright Statement
All of the ABMP courses contain materials that are proprietary to ABMP. None of the course material may be used without the express written permission of ABMP. Materials may include, but are not limited to, video, audio, images, documents, and slides. Course materials are only for the use of students enrolled in this course and may not be shared publicly or shown to groups. Unauthorized retention, duplication, distribution, or modification of copyrighted materials is strictly prohibited by law. Check your state’s defined scope of practice for massage therapy before practicing any new modalities or techniques.


"Thank you for doing such a great job bringing awareness to specific challenges regarding skin cancer in people of color! I really appreciate the photographs of all different skin tones. Great course!"

"Ruth is a fantastic communicator and educator and presents information in an accessible and easily digestible manner. She is a joy to learn from!"