Skin Cancer Surgeon

Dr. Randy N. Karu -  - Family Medicine Physician

Dr. Randy N. Karu

Family Medicine Physician & General Surgeon located in Pomona, CA

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some time in their lives, and about half of all people who reach age 65 will have had skin cancer at some time in their lives. Despite the prevalence of skin cancer, one form of this disease can be life-threatening. Dr. Randy Karu provides proactive skin cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment to ensure you receive the earliest intervention and best care possible. To learn more, contact his office in Pomona, California, today.

Skin Cancer Q & A

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is abnormal cell growth in the layers of the skin.

What kinds of skin cancer are there?

There are three kinds of skin cancer: Squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma are both common and easily cured. Malignant melanoma is much more serious and often life-limiting due to its spread to other tissues and organs in the body.

What are the signs and symptoms of skin cancer?

The signs of skin cancer vary from one person to the next and are often subtle. Skin cancer can appear as scaly patches of skin, irregular moles, raised bumps, or open sores. Because the presentation can vary so much and mimic other benign skin conditions, it’s important to seek treatment for any skin changes. The most common things to look for include:

  • A birthmark-like patch characterized by large blood vessels
  • Scaly, patchy skin
  • Bumps that are smooth, waxy, or shiny
  • A new mole or a mole that has increased in size
  • A mole that bleeds, itches, or hurts
  • A mole that has an uneven border
  • A mole that changes shape or color

Who is at highest risk of developing skin cancer?

If you sunburn easily, have a lot of freckles, have a family history of skin cancer, have light skin, or have blue eyes, you may be at higher risk of developing skin cancer. You can talk to Dr. Karu about preventive measures that might decrease your risk.

Can you prevent skin cancer?

In most cases, skin cancer can be prevented through simple lifestyle changes that protect your skin from ultraviolet rays. These include:

  • Avoid extended exposure to direct sunlight
  • Choose lip balm that includes sunscreen to protect your lips
  • Wear wide-brim hats to protect your neck, ears, and face from the sun
  • Wear long pants and long sleeves when you have to be outside in the sun
  • Use sunscreen
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Notifying Dr. Karu about new moles, skin concerns, or changes

How is skin cancer treated?

The treatment for skin cancer depends on the kind of cancer you have. In most cases, skin cancer is removed surgically, but in same cases the lesion can be frozen, scraped, burned, or radiated instead. More aggressive forms of skin cancer that can metastasize may require chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.