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Skin Cancer Specialist

Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology

Dermatologists & Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Specialists located in Pleasanton, CA

Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States. When caught early, you can recover from most skin cancers, which is why regular skin checks from Sarah Coates, MD, and Richard Burroughs, MD, at Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology in Pleasanton, California, are so essential. If you need a skin cancer check or have a suspicious lesion that needs evaluation, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Skin Cancer Q & A

What are the different types of skin cancer?

There are many types of skin cancer. The most common types are:

Basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. It develops in the deepest layers of your skin. On the surface of your skin, these cancerous growths look like reddish or pinkish growths or sores. 

Basal cell carcinoma typically develops due to sun exposure. This type of skin cancer rarely spreads to other organs. 

Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma looks like warts, open sores, or scaly patches of skin. Squamous cell carcinoma typically develops in the outermost layer of your skin due to sun exposure. Without treatment, it can lead to disfigurement or death.


Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer. It’s less common than basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma, but far more deadly because it spreads to other organs. Melanoma usually appears as an abnormal-looking mole. 

What are the symptoms of skin cancer?

If you have an abnormal skin growth, especially on sun-exposed areas of your skin, suspect skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma can look like sores or ulcers that just won’t heal.

The abnormal moles associated with melanoma are identified using the ABCs:

  • Asymmetry (one side doesn’t match the other)
  • Border irregularity
  • Color that isn’t uniform
  • Diameter greater than 6 millimeters
  • Evolving size, shape, or color

Normal moles are usually uniform in shape and about the size of a pencil eraser. Melanomas tend to change in size, morph in color, and develop irregular shapes.

How is skin cancer diagnosed?

When you have a suspicious lesion, Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology can examine it and take a biopsy that’s sent to a lab for evaluation. When the results come back, you’ll know definitively whether or not you have skin cancer and what type.

How is skin cancer treated?

At Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology, basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are generally treated by removing the offending lesion. Excision procedures include cryotherapy (freezing it off) and an advanced procedure known as Mohs surgery.

If you’re diagnosed with melanoma, the team evaluates you for spread. If the condition has metastasized, you may need more in-depth care like radiation.

To protect your skin and get checked for skin cancer, contact Pleasanton Allergy and Dermatology. Call the office to make an appointment or schedule online today.