Melanoma

CUREtology

C. Suzanne Cutter, MD

Surgical Oncology located in Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

While skin cancers are the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States, melanoma only accounts for 1% of these diagnoses, with a little more than 90,000 new cases each year. Dr. Cutter at CUREtology is a highly experienced diagnostician and surgical oncologist who specializes in melanoma. Through her holistic and comprehensive approach, she works methodically and exhaustively to find the best solution for her patients in the downtown Los Angeles area. If you’d like to explore your treatment options for melanoma, call or schedule a consultation using the online booking tool.

Melanoma Q & A

What is melanoma?

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that attacks the cells that produce your melanin. While the exact cause of melanoma is unclear, medical researchers have linked it to exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, as well as genetics.

Additionally, if you’re fair-skinned and you have more than 50 moles on your body, you’re more at risk for melanoma. Conversely, African Americans are less likely to develop melanoma.

Melanoma can strike anywhere on your skin, but it’s far more likely to develop on your chest or back if you’re male and on your legs if you’re female. If you’re African American, melanoma can develop on your palms or soles of your feet, as well as under your toenails.

Melanoma is a serious skin cancer that spreads more easily than its more common counterparts — squamous and basal cell skin cancers — which means that early intervention is key in dealing with the disease.

What are the signs of melanoma?

One of the best ways to detect melanoma is to take matters into your own hands by performing regular skin checks. You know your skin best, so pay close attention to any spots that develop, or any moles that start to change color or size.

The average human skin covers a whopping 21 square feet, so you need to be thorough and enlist the help of a partner or friend to take a look at areas that you can’t easily access, such as your back (especially if you’re male).

If you’re unclear as to what constitutes abnormal tissue, there’s an acronym to help — ABCDE:

  • Asymmetrical
  • Irregular border
  • Changes in color
  • Diameter (more than ¼ inch)
  • Evolving

The bottom line is that if you find something suspicious, it’s a good idea to have Dr. Cutter take a look.

How is melanoma treated?

Dr. Cutter is a surgical oncologist who is with you every step of the way after a melanoma diagnosis. The first step in treating melanoma is to remove the cancer. Dr. Cutter specializes in negative margin surgery to ensure that she removes your cancer in its entirety.

From there, treatment depends upon what stage your cancer is in, but rest assured that Dr. Cutter uses every tool available and works with medical and radiation oncologists to get you the care you need. She also helps you prepare for your postoperative care through holistic programs designed to strengthen your body.

For more information, call CUREtology or use the online scheduler to book a consultation.