Skin Cancer Specialist

David Stoll, MD -  - Dermatologist

David Stoll, MD

Dermatologist located in Beverly Hills, CA

An unusual spot on your skin can be worrisome, especially if it turns out to be skin cancer. Fortunately, skin cancers are treatable and curable if you catch them early. David Stoll, MD, provides safe, effective diagnoses and treatment options for all skin cancers at his clinic in Beverly Hills, California. To rule out skin cancer or begin treatment, call the practice or book an appointment online.

Skin Cancer Q & A

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is a disease characterized by the abnormal growth of skin cells. It most commonly develops on skin exposed to ultraviolet rays, which come from the sun as well as tanning beds.

What does it look like?

Skin cancer looks different, depending on the type and how long you’ve had it. Types and visual symptoms include:

  • Basal cell carcinoma, which appears as flesh-colored bumps or pinkish patches of skin
  • Squamous cell carcinoma, which may appear as a scaly patch, firm red bumps, or a wound that heals and then reopens
  • Melanoma, which often shows up in an existing mole or appears suddenly as a new dark-colored spot

How do skin cancer types differ?

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer, followed by squamous cell carcinoma. Both forms are most prevalent in people with light skin. Melanoma is less common, but it’s also the most serious and deadly form of skin cancer.

In addition to ample sun exposure, melanoma is most common in people who have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • red or blond hair or blue or green eyes
  • sun-sensitive skin
  • 50 or more moles or large moles
  • an atypical mole
  • previous history of melanoma or another skin cancer type
  • family history of melanoma

How is skin cancer diagnosed?

If Dr. Stoll suspects skin cancer, a biopsy can help confirm or rule out the diagnosis. When melanoma seems possible, the entire growth is typically reduced with a scalpel and then studied by a pathologist. Additional tests could include an MRI, X-ray, or CT scan.

How is skin cancer treated?

Most cases of skin cancer are found, treated safely and effectively, and cured before they spread. Melanoma can also be treated and cured if it’s caught early enough.

Standard treatments for basal and squamous cell carcinomas often involve removal of the tumors through surgery, skin scraping, low-dose radiation, electric current cauterization, or the use of frozen or liquid nitrogen. If the cancer has spread beyond the skin, chemotherapy or radiation may be needed.

Melanoma tumors need surgical removal, ideally before they’ve spread to other organs. In advanced stages of the disease, chemotherapy or radiation may help slow it down and reduce symptoms.

Other skin cancer treatments include:

  • Immunotherapy, which aims to target and kill cancer cells by manipulating the immune system
  • Vaccines or drugs, such as nivolumab and pembrolizumab

*Individual results may vary.