Skin Cancer Prevention
Skin cancer can affect you at any age, even if you don't spend a lot of time outdoors. But you don't have to let the risk of skin cancer hold you back from living a full, active life. At Cedars-Sinai, you'll find expert, comprehensive care for skin cancer.
Our approach includes:
Our highly skilled, board-certified dermatologists detect early signs of cancer that can be easy to miss. We have extensive experience treating melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. We also have experience treating other rare forms of skin cancer, such as Merkel cell carcinoma and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. Meet our expert team.
Focus on Prevention
If there is a mole or growth you're worried about, we assess it as quickly as possible. We also perform frequent monitoring to check for signs of skin cancer in people with a higher-than-normal risk. We offer several diagnostic options for suspicious lesions, including dermoscopy, biopsies and surgical excisions for benign skin growths as well as Levulan BLU-U Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy to treat pre-cancers.
Advanced Care Options
For some forms of skin cancer, particularly those on the head and neck or with high-risk features, you have access to sophisticated treatments, such as Mohs micrographic surgery. Our team includes a fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic surgeon who has performed thousands of successful surgeries using this technique. Read more about Mohs micrographic surgery for skin cancer.
We get to know you as a person, including your outdoor activity preferences and skin cancer risks. We use this information to provide you with tailored recommendations. We may suggest wearing protective clothing, using stronger sunscreen so you can continue participating in your favorite activities, or having at-home or in-office treatments to decrease your risk.
Types of Precancer and Skin Cancer We Care For
We screen for and treat many types of skin cancer, including:
- Actinic keratosis, a precancer causing rough, scaly patches on the skin
- Basal cell cancer, the most common types of non-melanoma skin cancer
- Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, skin cancer from white blood cells in the skin
- Melanoma, a skin cancer that arises from moles
- Merkel cell cancer, a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer
- Squamous cell carcinoma, a common type of non-melanoma skin cancer often caused by sun damage
Skin Cancer Screenings
Skin cancer can start as an abnormal (atypical) mole, as in the case of melanoma. Skin cancer may also be a rough or raised bump that won't go away and occasionally bleeds, as in the case of basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. Our experts perform screenings, which include a full-body assessment to check for suspicious growths. We use tools, such as dermoscopy, to help identify abnormal moles and skin cancer.
Routine skin cancer screenings are particularly important if you have:
- A personal or family history of skin cancer
- Regular sun exposure
- Fair skin (red/blonde hair or light eye color)
- A history of severe sunburns
Your dermatologists at Cedars-Sinai can assess your risk and recommend the frequency of your skin cancer screenings.
Specialized Screenings for Transplant and Immunosuppressed Patients
Our team includes a dermatologist and Mohs micrographic surgeon with expertise meeting the unique needs of transplant patients or patients with a history of immunosuppression. For these high-risk patients, we may perform the following skin cancer screenings:
Before Transplant Surgery
After Transplant Surgery, To Check for New Cancerous Growth
We make sure there are no signs of cancer, and assess your risk, providing you with recommendations following transplantation, allowing you to be as healthy as possible.
Your immune system will be weaker after transplantation, increasing your risk for skin cancer. Regular screenings from our team may lower these risks and allow us to diagnose skin cancer at an earlier stage.
Prevention and Treatments for Early Skin Cancer
If we detect precancerous growths or other signs of skin cancer, your care may include:
- Recommendations, such as wearing sunscreen, protective clothing or avoiding outdoor activities during peak daylight hours
- Creams with medications that help your body fight pre cancers
- In-office procedures to help your body fight precancers or remove suspicious growths and moles
- Photodynamic therapy, which combines medication with blue light to destroy precancerous cells and decrease the risk of new skin cancers