Skin Cancer Specialist

Los Gatos Dermatology

Cosmetic Dermatologists located in Los Gatos, CA

Every year, one million Americans are impacted by skin cancer, making it the most common cancer in the United States. If you’re at risk for skin cancer, find help at Los Gatos Dermatology. Board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Bruce Saal diagnoses, treats, and prevents all types of skin cancers. If you live in Los Gatos, California and need a skin cancer evaluation, don’t wait. Prevention is key. Call the office today to schedule your appointment.

Skin Cancer Q & A

Los Gatos Dermatology

Are there different types of skin cancer?

There are three common types of skin cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma

The most common skin cancer in the US, basal cell carcinoma accounts for 80% of skin cancer cases. It often appears as raised, pink bumps that look waxy, and is frequently seen on the head and neck. It’s slow-growing and rarely spreads.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma creates patches of red, rough skin that can look scaly. It’s often found on the hands, head, neck, lips, and ears, and is more aggressive than basal cell carcinoma.

Melanoma

Melanoma causes skin cells to create pigments that result in irregular moles or lesions. It’s the most lethal form of skin cancer and the cause of 75% of skin cancer deaths. Melanoma spots typically form in an ABCDE pattern:

  • Asymmetrical
  • Border (nonuniform)
  • Color (inconsistent)
  • Diameter (6mm or greater)
  • Evolution (changes over time)

Who’s at risk for skin cancer?

While anyone can develop skin cancer, certain individuals may be more likely to develop skin cancer. Risk factors include:

  • Previous skin cancer diagnosis
  • Extended UV ray exposure
  • 40 or older
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Fair complexion
  • Organ transplant recipient

Can you prevent skin cancer?

Skin cancer is preventable, and if caught early, it’s treatable. Dr. Saal recommends that every patient perform regular self-examinations, looking for new moles or abnormal growths. He also examines your skin during each appointment.

To reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, Dr. Saal recommends avoiding the sun and sunburns, as an estimated 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers are caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. If you’re going to be in the sun:

  • Avoid the hours between 10am and 4pm
  • Wear lightweight long sleeves
  • Use a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses
  • Apply a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher

How do you treat skin cancer?

The type, size, and location of your skin cancer determine how Dr. Saal addresses it. If you have basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas, he may suggest:

  • Excision
  • Mohs surgery
  • Cryotherapy
  • Electrodesiccation and curettage
  • Chemotherapeutic creams

If you have melanoma, Dr. Saal takes a wide surgical excision and may also recommend sentinel lymph node mapping, which shows if cancer cells have spread to your lymph nodes. If this is the case, radiation or further medication may be required.

If you’re at risk of developing skin cancer, go to a dermatologist with experience and know-how. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Saal today by calling the office.

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