Skin Cancer Specialist

Douglas Swinehart, MD

Dermatologist located in Fresno, CA

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with one in five Americans at risk for developing it in their lifetime. Dr. Douglas Swinehart practices dermatology in Fresno, California, where he offers preventive care through very thorough, full body skin examinations. Dr. Swinehart offers many options for skin cancer therapy including excisional surgery, topical immunotherapy, topical chemotherapy, and advanced nonsurgical treatment of skin cancer using superficial radiotherapy (SRT). Dr. Swinehart believes early diagnosis is the key to successful treatment.

Skin Cancer Q & A

What factors increase your risk for developing skin cancer?

Exposure to ultraviolet light is the top risk factor for all types of skin cancer. While cumulative exposure to sunlight over the years makes it more likely you’ll get skin cancer, it only takes one scorching sunburn in childhood or adolescence to double the chance of developing melanoma. Other factors that increase your risk of skin cancer include:

  • Five or more sunburns between the ages of 15-20 years
  • Exposure to tanning beds
  • Skin that burns easily (fair skin, blond or red hair, blue eyes)
  • Long history of excessive sun exposure (natural sunlight and tanning beds)
  • More than 50 moles or several large moles

Skin cancer can be prevented by seeking shade, wearing sunscreen or protective clothing, avoiding tanning beds, and regularly checking your skin for early signs of cancer.

Why should you get a full-body skin examination?

Finding skin cancer early is vital for successful treatment. The only way to catch it early is to examine all of your skin for signs, like moles that change in size, shape, or color. Many people don’t check their skin because only half of all cases of melanoma are discovered during a self-exam – a worrisome fact considering skin cancer is the most common form of cancer.

Even if you perform a regular self-examination, it’s still a good idea to schedule an appointment with Dr. Swinehart. As an expert in dermatology, he knows what to look for and may find spots you missed. He could discover changes in the skin that need to be closely watched with regular check-ups or worrisome moles that need a biopsy. During a skin exam, the doctor will also assess your risk factors and determine how frequently you should get a professional skin exam.

How does Dr. Swinehart treat skin cancer?

Dr. Swinehart can offer many options for treating skin cancer. He is well trained in cutaneous surgery and many cancers can be effectively treated with surgical removal under local anesthesia. When surgically removed, all margins of excision are checked under the microscope to ensure complete removal. Patients are not sedated for this surgery, and the excision and repair are generally done in one stage; so patients are treated within one hour, start to finish.

Topical immunotherapy and topical chemotherapy can be used for certain superficial tumors. Other cancers will compel Dr. Swinehart to use superficial radiation therapy (SRT) to safely destroy the cancerous cells. SRT can be used for the two most common types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

 

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Insurances Accepted

Dr. Swinehart accepts most major insurance plans. Please contact our office directly with any questions regarding coverage prior to your office visit or if you do not see your insurance provider listed. Please bring your insurance card with you to your appointment.

AARP
Advantek
Aetna
Anthem Blue Cross
Banker's Life
Blue Shield of California
Capital Health Plan
Cigna
Delta Health Systems
Everence
GEHA PPO
HealthComp, Inc.
HealthNet
Humana
Medi-Share
Medicare