Cancer can be a scary diagnosis for anyone. However, when patients are aware of the signs and symptoms of skin cancer, they can often get treatment to eliminate it. This is because skin cancer is one of the few cancers that are visible. Skin cancer can be spotted and a biopsy can be done to see if cancerous cells exist. It can become problematic if patients ignore the symptoms and do not attend regular skin cancer screenings.
During a skin cancer screening, Dr. Paul Yamauchi of the Dermatology Institute and Skin Care Center will evaluate a patient from head to toe. He will look for areas of concern that may be indicative of cancer. For example, moles may be one area where skin cancer can develop. Most moles are benign, but if moles are changing in shape, size, and color, it may mean that skin cancer is present. The doctor removes a small sample of the area of concern and send these samples to the lab for testing. This is called a biopsy. The sample is evaluated, and if skin cancer is present, patients will get a diagnosis of their condition. Once skin cancer has been diagnosed, the doctor and patient discuss treatment options.
Because skin cancer develops on specific areas of the skin, most cases are treated with an excision. This is surgical removal of the cancerous skin. For patients who have recurring cancer, or those who have cancer on a very visible area of the body or face, a procedure called Mohs micrographic surgery may be recommended. This treatment has a high success rate of removal, and leaves behind less scarring than more traditional excision methods.
If you reside in the area of Santa Monica, CA and want to work with a dedicated dermatologist who can provide skin cancer screenings, we encourage you to call the Dermatology Institute and Skin Care Center. The front office team can be reached at (310) 829-4104 to request a visit at the practice, conveniently located at 2001 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite #1160W.