Skin Cancer

Silicon Valley Dermatology

Mychael Luu, M.D.

General & Surgical Dermatology located in San Jose, CA

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world. Every day, 9,500 Americans receive a skin cancer diagnosis, and at least one in five people aged over 70 will have skin cancer at some point. Fortunately, when detected early, skin cancer has a 99% five-year survival rate. At Silicon Valley Dermatology, board-certified dermatologist Mychael Luu, MD, works with patients in and around San Jose, California, to diagnose and treat their skin cancer early on. Practice safe skin health and make an appointment today. Call the practice or book an appointment online.

Skin Cancer Q & A

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is abnormal skin cell growth. Although it's usually caused by sun and UV exposure, you can develop skin cancer on parts of the body that don't typically see a lot of sun or UV light.

If untreated, skin cancer can spread to other parts of the body, so early detection is key for the best chance at a successful treatment — and the good news is that skin cancer is extremely treatable when caught early.

If you're high-risk for developing skin cancer or you'd like to know more about preventive care, see your provider at Silicon Valley Dermatology about how you can take control over your skin health.

Are there different types of skin cancer?

Three types of skin cancer are more common than others: basal cell carcinomas, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs)

BCCs are the most common type of skin cancer. They typically develop on sun-exposed areas of skin, like the ears, face, shoulders, and back. They may look like scabbing sores that keep returning, a pearly bump, or a skin-colored lesion. 


Melanomas are commonly caused by sun exposure but can develop anywhere on the body — even areas that rarely see the sun. It's the most dangerous form of skin cancer. If you have moles, watch carefully to see if they change shape, color, or size, begin to itch or burn, or start to develop an irregular border.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

SCC appears either as a red nodule or a flat, scaly lesion. It typically develops in sun-exposed areas, like the scalp, face, neck, ears, and hands.

Other types of cancer include Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), sebaceous carcinoma, dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP), and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. 

What is the treatment for skin cancer?

The most appropriate treatment for skin cancer depends on the type, size, location, and depth of the lesions. Treatment varies from a small biopsy to remove the growth entirely to radiotherapy to destroy the cancerous cells. Your provider at Silicon Valley Dermatology talks through your options with you, which may include:

  • Mohs surgery
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
  • Cryosurgery (freezing)
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Biological therapy

If you have concerns about skin cancer and your skin health, see your provider at Silicon Valley Dermatology. Call today to schedule a consultation or inquire online.