How Do I Know if I Have Skin Cancer?

Here in Southern California, you’re never far from the sun. And with over 1 million Americans diagnosed with nonmelanoma skin cancers and hundreds of thousands more diagnosed with deadly melanoma every year, it’s easy to start wondering if that new mole or freckle could be something serious.  

At Stoll Dermatology in Beverly Hills, California, we’re dedicated to helping you achieve the best skin health possible. To detect skin cancer early, it’s important to give yourself regular skin checks at home and schedule a comprehensive skin cancer screening with skin cancer specialist Dr. David Stoll.  

You know your body better than anyone else, so it’s important to learn the signs and symptoms of skin cancer.

How do I know if I have skin cancer?

New freckles and moles might indicate skin cancer, or they could be a normal part of your skin’s development. There are several types of skin cancer, with their own signs and symptoms. It’s best to seek an expert medical opinion for a diagnosis. 

Regularly checking your skin, however, is an important first step. After all, no one else looks at your skin as much as you do. Some general signs and symptoms to watch out for include: 

Even if you’re looking out for these warning signs, a simple skin check is your best bet for catching skin cancer early. With years of experience spotting troublesome skin conditions, Dr. Stoll evaluates your entire body for signs of skin cancer and asks questions about your health history and lifestyle. 

Caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable with 99% of those diagnosed with melanoma recovering with early diagnosis. To rule out skin cancer to begin treatment, be sure to schedule regular skin checks with Dr. Stoll. 

When should I get a skin cancer screening?

All people, no matter their skin color or tone, should have annual skin cancer screenings. People of color often aren’t diagnosed until the later stages of skin cancer, making it more difficult to treat. Annual checks are especially important here in Southern California with the abundant sun. 

Some people have a higher risk of getting skin cancer. If you fall into one of the categories below, Dr. Stoll may recommend more frequent skin cancer screenings. Risk factors include having:

If your work or activities mean more time in the sun than an average person, you may also be at higher risk even if you don’t have any of the factors listed above.  

What happens if I have skin cancer?

When Dr. Stoll suspects skin cancer, he conducts a biopsy. By testing the cells in question, a biopsy helps rule out or confirm a diagnosis of skin cancer.

Most forms of skin cancer can be treated in the office, removing any cancerous, precancerous, or suspicious growths. Stoll Dermatology also offers other skin cancer treatments, including immunotherapy, which targets cancer cells through the immune system, and different vaccines or medications.

If melanoma is a possibility, Dr. Stoll reduces the growth as much as possible then sends it for analysis by a pathologist. He may also order additional tests and imaging. In advanced stages of melanoma, chemotherapy or radiation may be required.

How can I learn more about skin cancer?

The best way to learn more about skin cancer is to talk to an expert. At Stoll Dermatology, scheduling a skin cancer screening is simple. Our friendly staff provides instructions on how to prepare for your visit, and your appointment won’t take long. 

To learn more about skin cancer or to schedule a skin check with Dr. Stoll, call our Beverly Hills, California, office or book an appointment online now.

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