About Skin Cancer
The three major types of skin cancer are melanoma, basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Each type is named according to the type of skin cell it affects. When cells at the base of the epidermis are affected, it is a basal cell carcinoma. When the cells in the upper layers are affected, it is a squamous cell carcinoma. Melanoma, the most aggressive type of skin cancer, affects the pigment cells of the skin. It appears as a black or brown mole. At Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology San Francisco & Marin, we are so proud to provide our patients with the most advanced and effective skin cancer treatments available. Tracy Evans, MD is a dermatologist specializing in skin cancer and is fellowship-trained to perform Mohs surgery.
Skin Cancer Reviews
"The entire team that worked on removing my skin cancer was caring and showed genuine concern for me. The treatment rooms are modern and have all of the latest equipment. I highly recommend Dr. Evans for the Mohs Procedure I had done as well as all your dermatology needs."- G.C. / Google / Nov 30, 2019
"My husband has been going to this office for skin cancer treatment.Our dermatologist no longer takes our insurance, so we are new to this practice. We were very nervous about seeing a new doctor, especially during Covid. The staff here is amazing, so professional and caring, they put all our worries to rest from the first visit. When you call the office an actual person always answers the phone, a real plus. Appointments are easy to get, location is good (at a large shopping center) with good parking. Everyone from receptionist, PA, MD and entire office staff gets 5 stars from us. They even provide the option of getting your prescriptions in-office. So great to avoid a trip to the pharmacy. Thank you Dr Evans and your amazing staff!"- P.F. / Yelp / Apr 26, 2020
"Dr. Evans has performed Mohs surgery on my face twice and I could not be happier with the results. For the past couple decades, I have spent almost every Summer in the South of France because I have family and friends there. Of course it is a sunny place with lots of gorgeous beaches and other outdoor activities. I guess I got a little too much sun exposure on these trips, especially since I have fair skin and blue eyes. When I first found out I had a basal cell spot on my face I was very upset, but Dr Evans and her staff are absolutely amazing!!! I had never had any surgery on my face and I was worried about it, but I truly felt I had the kind of empathy and care that you would get from a family member or a great friend, from Dr. Evans and everyone else on her team. Dr. Evans did such a great job on both surgeries and they have healed so well, so much so that no one even notices that I have had two surgeries on my face. I have been going to her office for years now with regular skin checks and I have to say I am extremely impressed with the entire staff. In addition to the Mohs surgery, and after I had basal cell a second time, I decided to get Fraxel Laser done at Dr. Evans office. A lot of people do this for cosmetic reasons, but I did it because I found out that Fraxel can help reduce the chance of getting basal cell in the future. As a guy, I did not see myself spending thousands of $’s on laser for my face the first time, but after I got the 2nd basal cell on my face I decided it was worth the money if it reduced the chance of more basal cell in the future. I was very pleased with the Fraxel procedures and I have not had another basal cell issue since I had it, so I am very happy with the decision. The Fraxel laser procedure also evened out the toning on my face, so that was great as well. I highly recommend the Fraxel Laser to anyone who wants to potentially reduce the chance of basal cell, and I also have been taking Nicotinamide (a special form of vitamin B) which can also potentially reduce future basal cell issues, and I use a DNA enzyme repair cream at night which reduces the chance of basal cell. As I said before, I have not had basal cell since I had the Fraxel and I think taking Nicotinamide and using the DNA enzyme repair cream all have helped. After all this I realize how important skin care is and I am grateful that I got such great care. Most of my friends never go to a dermatologist and have an ignorance is bliss attitude, but with Dr. Evans and her amazing team, I am much more aware of how important it is to get regular checks and what can be done to maintain my skin going forward. My skin looks great and people think I look much younger than my actual age. One final point: I also have a couple friends that have HMO insurance that also have had basal cell. They have had surgeries at their HMO and I can tell you the care and the results they received are not even close to the care and outstanding results I have had with Dr. Evans. In some cases, the HMO made my friends wait a long time before they could even get the Mohs surgery and they also made mistakes, and their results in terms of scarring and healing were not the best. There is no way I would trust an HMO to do this surgery. At this point, I would only trust Dr. Evans with something this important. Thanks to Dr. Evans, Clarence, Shantelle, Kirstie, Danielle, Leslie, and the entire team! You all have helped me in a difficult situation more than once and I got through it as if nothing ever happened because of your amazing care and skills!"- E.R. / Yelp / Sep 25, 2021
"I have been going to Dr. Evens for a long time. She has treated my skin cancer. She is a very caring and competent doctor.I recommended her most highly"- J.H. / Google / Oct 11, 2020
"They were very professional and scanned my "Fair skinned" body for skin cancer."- J.B. / Google / Jul 21, 2022
Most cases of skin cancer are triggered by ultraviolet radiation damage to the DNA within skin cells that controls their turnover and growth. This type of UV-ray damage is caused by overexposure to the sun and the use of tanning beds. You may have heard that "there is no such thing as a safe tan," and this is unfortunately true. Skin cancers may also develop without any UV-ray damage; having fair skin, many moles, or a family history of skin cancer are also risk factors. The most important things you can do to prevent skin cancer are to avoid long-term sun exposure, wear sun-protective clothing, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, never use tanning beds, and have annual skin exams.
It is important to know the different indicators and symptoms of skin cancer so you know what to look for in self-checks:
- Crusty or scaly spots or patches anywhere on the body that is often exposed to sunlight
- Pearly or flesh-colored bumps
- Lesions that look like scars but are new
- Firm, shiny bumps
- Non-healing sores
The ABCDE list is a helpful guide to check for melanomas:
- A: Asymmetrical mole (one side is a different size or shape than the other)
- B: Borders (malignant moles do not have defined borders)
- C: Color (a malignancy won't be uniform in color)
- D: Diameter (malignancies typically grow larger than 6 millimeters in diameter)
- E: Evolving (malignant moles evolve and change in appearance)
The treatment selected for your unique case will depend on the size, location, depth, stage, and type of skin cancer. Most of the options provided at Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology San Francisco involve the full removal of the growth, which is the most effective form of treatment. Our removal procedures are typically quite simple and are performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia. Below are some of the skin cancer treatments provided at Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology San Francisco & Marin:
- Mohs surgery is a very effective removal method for many types of skin cancer. This procedure can take a bit longer than other surgical methods because the lesion or tumor is removed in layers, and each layer is examined under a microscope on-site to check for cancerous cells.
- Surgical excision is used for smaller, easy-to-reach skin cancers. We will administer a local anesthetic, and then the cancer will be excised using a scalpel and horizontal cuts around the growth and surrounding tissue. Small excisions can be sewn closed while larger excisions may need a skin graft to close up the wound.
- Laser therapy is performed with a Fraxel laser, commonly associated with more cosmetic treatments, and is primarily used to treat actinic keratoses. Sometimes combined with other topical treatments, this procedure can be effective in reducing cancerous and precancerous lesions on the skin.
- Topical treatments in the form of creams, gels, or ointments may be used to help treat precancerous cells or skin cancer, depending on the site, size, and diagnosis. This can be an effective option for many individuals, but Dr. Evans will perform a thorough assessment and biopsy to determine if this is the best treatment option for you.
Protect your skin
To reduce your overall risk of skin cancer, it is important to avoid excessive sun exposure, always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, and never use tanning beds. It is also best to have skin cancer screenings at least once a year — or twice a year if you have a family history or personal past with skin cancer. Visit Dr. Tracy Evans at Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology San Francisco & Marin for exams, detection, and treatment from an experienced specialist.