Expert Melanoma & Skin Cancer Care
Our multidisciplinary team has specialized expertise to provide the most accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plans across all skin cancer types using state-of-the-art technologies and supportive therapies to help ensure the best outcomes coupled with the highest quality of life. We are committed to providing the most cutting-edge imaging and innovative surgical and medical treatments to help patients get treatment earlier and avoid unnecessary biopsies.
You plan for everything.
We’re here for the things you can’t plan for. Hoag is the top cancer program in OC, with cancer survival rates that continuously exceed national averages.
Advanced Monitoring, Treatments, Research & Experience
Vectra WB360 3D Total Body Photographic Imaging
Hoag is the first hospital on the West Coast to offer high-risk skin cancer patients access to the West Coast’s only Vectra WB360 Total Body Photographic Imaging System, which allows dermatologists to monitor suspicious lesions and track changes over time. The Vectra helps physicians to detect skin cancer at the earliest stage, while avoiding unnecessary skin biopsies.Learn More About Vectra WB360
Dedicated Mohs Surgeon
At Hoag, our board-certified oncologic dermatologist is available for consultation and evaluation for melanoma. As a Mohs surgeon, he has extensive training in performing Mohs surgery to remove melanoma.
Mohs surgery precisely and efficiently removes melanoma, benefiting patients with the best cure rate, smaller scarring and can be performed in a single visit at Hoag’s dermatologic oncology clinic.Learn More About Mohs Surgery
All-Inclusive Care in One Location
Led by board-certified experts in both oncologic dermatology and surgical oncology, Hoag’s Melanoma & Skin Cancer Program in Orange County is leveraging state-of-the-art technology to provide streamlined, all-inclusive care for high-risk and previously diagnosed patients – all in one location.
Our all-access approach to care includes close collaboration with Hoag experts in medical oncology, precision medicine, immunotherapy, targeted radiation therapy, scientific research and plastic surgery.Schedule An Appointment
Leader in Skin Cancer Research & Clinical Trials
Hoag Family Cancer Institute is a leader in skin cancer research giving patients options not available at other hospitals in the area.
Our groundbreaking clinical trials in precision medicine, immunotherapy/cell therapy, molecular imaging and therapy and other Phase I-IV clinical trials are changing lives in Orange County and beyond.Clinical Trials for Skin Cancers
Meet Our Specialized Melanoma & Skin Cancer Team
From Mohs surgery to advanced skin cancer surgery and treatment, our specialized team includes a board-certified oncologic dermatologist and surgical, medical and radiation oncologists, as well as nurse navigators, pathologists, genetic counselors, social workers and more, all working shoulder to shoulder to provide comprehensive, coordinated skin cancer care for you.
16105 Sand Canyon Ave., Ste. 220
You Are Not Alone.
No one should face skin cancer alone and Hoag wraps itself around every patient with an all-inclusive offering of care and support. From site-specific nurse navigators to a tranquil infusion setting, as well as a full suite of integrated wellness services, Hoag provides all of the care you need nearby in Orange County.
You. Empowered By Hoag
Read our latest news and lifestyle articles about skin cancer at Hoag.
Hoag selects accomplished oncologist as director of Hoag Melanoma Program
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian has announced that Thomas N. Wang, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S., a prominent researcher and nationally recognized…Read More
Late-Stage Melanoma: Experimental Drug Combo Puts 50% of Patients Into Remission
Melanoma is a kind of skin cancer. While it has a 99% survival rate in its early stages, stage IV melanoma —…Read More
Renowned Dermatologist Joins Hoag
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian announces that Steven Wang, M.D., a renowned, board-certified dermatologist and fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon, has joined the…Read More
Here Are the Most Common Suntan Myths and How They Can Affect Your Health
A large majority of Europeans — and people elsewhere in the world — apparently believe that a suntan is attractive…Read More
Do I have Melanoma?
What is melanoma?
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that originates in the melanocytes, the cells that produce pigment in the skin. Melanomas can develop anywhere there is pigmented skin, even on internal organs or the eyes, but most often occur on parts of the body exposed to the sun, including the face, arms, back and legs.
Though melanoma is very treatable if diagnosed early, it is considered the most dangerous type of skin cancer due to its quick growth and ability to spread to any organ inside the body. Though only about 1 percent of all diagnosed skin cancers in the U.S. are melanoma, the disease causes the majority of skin-cancer-related deaths.
At Hoag, Our Whole-Body, Patient-First Philosophy Is All About You
Helping to limit anxiety and calm fears, when patients come to us with a potentially worrisome blemish, spot or mole, our skin exams are detailed and thorough, helping patients feel confident and comfortable. Our team sees every exam as an opportunity to educate and our world-class team of specialists take the time to explain as we examine, helping patients not only understand why one mole is safe while another is potentially malignant, but also which specific factors lead to that determination.
At Hoag, we understand the power of seeing every patient as a whole person, not just a name on a chart. And it’s another great reason to trust Hoag for your dermatologic care.
What are the symptoms of melanoma?
The most frequent early symptom of melanoma is finding a previously-unnoticed spot on the skin, or changes to the size, shape or color of an existing mole or blemish.
In evaluating suspect spots, moles or blemishes, the CDC suggests that those deciding whether to consult their doctor should remember “A-B-C-D-E.” It stands for:
- Asymmetry: If you divide the spot in two, does it have an irregular shape that makes the two halves look different?
- Border: Is the border of the spot uneven, irregular or jagged?
- Color: Is color in the spot unevenly distributed across its surface?
- Diameter: Is the spot larger than the diameter of a standard pencil eraser?
- Evolving: Has the spot noticeably changed in color, size, shape or other characteristics over a period of weeks or months?
If the answer to one or more of these questions is yes, be safe and see your doctor.
What are the risk factors for melanoma?
There are a number of factors that are believed to increase your risk of developing melanoma.
Certain individuals are at higher risk for melanoma. These may include:
- Fitzpatrick skin types I, II
- Type I – described as skin that always burns, never tans and is sensitive to UV exposure
- Type II – described as skin that burns easily, tans minimally
- Excessive UV light exposure: excessive exposure to the sun or using indoor tanning beds
- A history of severe, blistering sunburns
- Family history of melanoma
- Personal history of non-melanotic skin cancers
However, not all melanomas are at high risk. Here are some additional, more specific, risk factors for melanoma:
- Having fair skin
- A previous diagnosis of melanoma
- Having more than 50 moles on your skin
- Diagnosis with dysplastic nevi, which are a variety of moles which tend to be larger, and of an irregular color and shape
- A weakened immune system (immunosuppression)
- Familial melanoma
- CDKN2A or CDK4 mutations
- Melanocortin 1 Receptor Genotype
- Childhood cancer survivors (previous treatment with XRT)
- Parkinson’s Disease
How can I reduce my risk of developing melanoma?
Ways to reduce your risk of developing melanoma may include:
- Check your skin regularly
- Avoid purposeful tanning, whether in the sun or in a tanning bed
- Avoid the sun during the middle of the day
- Wear sunscreen when outdoors, year round, as the Skin Cancer Foundation says that daily use of sunscreen of at least 15 SPF can lower your risk of developing melanoma by at least 50 percent.
- Limit your exposure to the sun while working outdoors through seeking shade, wearing clothing that covers more of your skin, applying a high-SPF sunscreen or working in the morning or late afternoon
The simplest step is to visit your dermatologist for a skin check-up once a year, or every six months if you have a family history.