Skin cancer is a frightening condition to face. We want you to know you are not alone. If you suspect that a mole or growth may be cancerous, schedule a consultation with one of our highly-trained physicians today. Grossmont Dermatology Medical Center uses modern diagnostic methods to identify potential skin cancers as early as possible. The prognosis for the various types of skin cancer, including melanoma, is good with early intervention. For this reason we encourage patients to schedule routine skin cancer screenings. We especially encourage consultations for any concerning new or changing growths on the skin.
Skin cancer: what you need to knowCurrent statistics demonstrate that skin cancer cases out number all other types of cancer. Everyone has some risk for skin cancer, not just those with lighter complexions. Especially in a sunny coastal location such as San Diego, the importance of UV protection cannot be overstated.
Exposure to UV radiation is the primary factor in the development of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma skin cancer. The effects of UV exposure, which we get every day in the beautiful Southern California sunshine, are cumulative. Over time, this exposure can damage skin cells and lead to the development of skin cancer. Regular exposure increases risk not only because the skin is more likely to become damaged, but also because exposure to UV causes a reduction in natural immunity in the skin.
What are the types of Skin Cancer? – Dr. Christopher V. Crosby
How serious is Basal cell cancer?
Basal-Cell Carcinoma is by far the most common and tends to be the least aggressive type of skin cancer. It grows relatively slowly they can however start to destroy tissue as they approach areas around it.
Is Squamous-Cell Carcinoma life threatening?
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. It can be easily treated, though it can be aggressive in some cases. Early detection and treatment for squamous cell carcinoma can help ensure the best outcome.
Is Melanoma cancer very aggressive?
Melanoma is definitely more aggressive and can spread to leave the skin to other parts of the body like brain and lung. So, with melanoma cancer the most important thing is that its diagnosed and treated early.
How often should I do a self-check for skin cancer?
Examine every inch of your skin from head-to-toe once a month and if you notice any particular changes that are concerning, bring them to the attention of your physician or Dermatologist skin cancer immediately.
Skin cancer is concerning. The more you know about it the better. Get the information you need from a qualified La Mesa dermatologist. Call (619) 462-1670 today.
Best way to prevent Sun damage by Dr. Chritopher V. Crosby
The most important thing that we can control about skin cancer risk is controlling our sun exposure.
What are some of the ways to control sun exposure?
The easy and simple way is using a daily sunscreen of at least an SPF30. With the SPF much higher than that like an SPF100, you are not getting twice or three times the protection, but you are getting a little bit longer protection. This is important if you are going to be at the beach, hiking or you are unable to reapply as often as you should. At least an SPF 30 for daily use is very good.
The way to incorporate that is to find a facial moisturizer that has an SPF30 in it and work it into your daily routine that makes it easy.
What is the best brand or product?
Finding a product that is easy and convenient for you to use is more important than the brand of the sunscreen used.
There are a number of categories like the physical blockers and the chemical blockers.
The physical blockers have a pigment that blocks the sun getting to your skin. These are recommended and good for patients with sensitive skin who want to avoid chemicals.
Chemical blockers are more water resistant and it binds to the skin. They are not waterproof, so they still need to be reapplied often and tend to be more cosmetically elegant and completely transparent.
Is it necessary to use a branded sunscreen?
There are no dramatic differences in the brands and finding one that you can use is the most important thing.
Looking for a La Mesa dermatologist? Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic offers comprehensive care to meet your needs for healthy skin. Call (619) 462-1670.
Our goals in addressing skin cancerThe Grossmont Skin Cancer Treatment Center at Grossmont Dermatology Medical Center believes in educating patients. The more informed you have about what causes skin cancer, the better you can protect yourself from this prevalent condition. Preventive care is taught during routine skin cancer screenings, and we are always happy to answer your questions about protecting your skin. Our Board certified dermatologists and staff have completed extensive training that has taught them how to diagnose and treat skin cancers based on the individual needs of each patient.
Skin cancer is treated based on numerous factors. Some of the potential treatment options include: Photodynamic therapy for actinic keratosis
- Topical medication
- Mohs Micrographic Surgery
What happens if a skin biopsy comes back positive?Our doctors perform skin biopsies regularly, and sometimes, these specimens are positive for melanoma. The first step is determining the extent of the skin cancer; this is called staging the malignancy. Once we know how far cancer has spread, our team develops a treatment plan based on the progression. In some cases, if the biopsy cleared the entire cancer, no further treatment is needed. Other cases may require additional skin removal and treatment.
How can I tell if a mole is irregular?Our dermatologists should evaluate any questionable mole at Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic and Skin Cancer Treatment Center. We can perform a biopsy to detect melanoma. Any skin growth or mole that is new or has suddenly changed color, shape or border needs to be examined. Worrisome moles tend to appear on the head, neck, upper back, torso and legs. Round, evenly shaped skin growths are often not a cause for concern, but one that grows larger, becomes more raised or has visual change warrants a visit to our La Mesa office.
What are the ABCDE warning signs of melanoma?Experts use ABCDE warning signs to determine which growths may be melanoma, including:
- Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not match the other.
- Border: The mole has blurry, ragged or otherwise irregular edges.
- Color: All moles should be a single shade. Any skin growth that changes color or has different hues of red, white, blue, black, brown or tan is a concern.
- Diameter: A mole larger than the size of a pencil's eraser could be cancerous.
- Evolving: The mole changes by growing, shrinking, bleeding, itching or other alterations in tone, texture or sensation. Lesions identified as melanoma tend to grow rapidly in size or height.
What is malignant melanoma?Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that originates in the melanocytes. It's called malignant melanoma or cutaneous melanoma, and these tumors are often black or brown because the cancerous cells still contain melanin, though some may be pink, tan or white.
Malignant melanoma may present as a changing mole, sore, bump or rash that scabs over, flakes or bleeds but doesn't heal. Late-stage melanoma may spread to the organs and cause death, but the cancer is highly treatable when diagnosed and treated early.
Do stages of melanoma have different symptoms?Early melanoma is limited to changes on the skin you see with your eyes, such as a new, asymmetrical mole or a mole with a new irregular border or larger diameter. Late-stage melanoma that spreads in the body can cause sore lymph nodes, fatigue, skin ulcerations and other unpleasant symptoms.
How often should I be screened for melanoma?The American Cancer Society recommends a cancer-related checkup by a physician, including a skin examination for people age 20 years of age and older. The Skin Cancer Foundation also recommends yearly professional skin exams. These appointments are critical if you live in a sunny environment like California. However, people with certain risk factors or a family history of melanoma need to be screened more frequently. Schedule an appointment whenever you notice a new mole or evolving skin growth.
We are proud to have Dr. Christopher Crosby as a member of our team. As a Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery, Dr. Crosby is one of the few Fellowship-Trained Mohs Surgeons in the area. He is able to provide the highest level of care in the removal of skin cancer as well as the most advanced techniques in reconstructive surgery.
Your skin health is important to us. Schedule your skin cancer screening at (619) 462-1670.
Skin cancer, including melanoma, is not something that always happens to someone else. Learn how to prevent and treat skin cancer. Call (619) 462-1670.
Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic and Skin Cancer Treatment Center Staff
Grossmont Dermatology is committed to providing patients with excellent quality skin treatments to help them preserve their youth. They use the latest technologies and treatment modalities to provide patients with the most effective services suiting their individual needs.
The team of professionals at the practice comprise:
- Paul B. Dean, MD, MPH, FAAD – Specializes in general dermatology, mole and lesion removal, photodynamic therapy (PDT), and skin cancer treatments.
- Maki Christine Goskowicz, MD, FAAD – Expertise includes general, cosmetic and laser dermatology, and skin cancer surgery and Botox treatments.
- Christopher Crosby, MD, PhD, FAAD - Specialist in Mohs surgery and reconstructive dermatologic surgery for skin cancers.
- Shinko Lin, MD – Specializes in general, cosmetic and laser dermatology, skin cancer treatments, and PDT.
- Helene Jolly, PA-C, MPAP – Performs cosmetic dermatology, acne and skin rash treatments, and mole removal among other tasks.
- Kira A. Tellache, PA-C – Performs general dermatology including acne and skin rashes as well as cosmetic dermatology and mole removal.