The focus of our Skin Cancer & Lesion Clinic at Greco Dermatology in Sarasota is centered on skin checks for the surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment of skin cancer, as well as suspicious or unwanted lesions and growths. This is one of our main, and most important, services.
A Skin Cancer Center Covering All Phases of Care
The Skin Cancer & Lesion Clinic is designed for skin checks for lesions and growths. Dr. Joseph Greco serves in all phases of care related to skin cancer surveillance and skin checks for non-healing lesions and growths. This includes initial evaluation through detailed skin exams, non-invasive therapies such as liquid nitrogen, minimally invasive procedures such as skin biopsy, and surgical treatment when indicated via Mohs or other dermatologic surgery procedures.
The Importance of Skin Checks
After working with Greco Dermatology, our patients feel more informed and educated about their skincare. Most feel a sense of relief after undergoing skin exams once their issues are addressed or the exam confirms that there’s no clinically suspicious lesion. Not only are these exams important for medical reasons; they also provide a sense of calm and peace of mind, which is invaluable. Routine skin exams at the Skin Cancer & Lesion Clinic are generally performed once or twice each year, but may occur more frequently depending on risk factors and diagnosis of skin cancer.
What to Watch For
The following could be an indication that a growth may be cancerous. If you’re experiencing any of the concerns listed below or simply want to make an appointment for a skin exam to evaluate for any lesions or growths, please call to schedule an appointment or consultation.
- A new growth on an adult that does not disappear within 4-6 weeks
- A skin lesion that grows larger and turns pearly, translucent, brown, black, or multi-colored
- Any worrisome skin lesion
- A skin spot or growth that scales, scabs, oozes, erodes, or bleeds for several weeks
- A growth with changes in sensation such as itching, burning, pain, or tenderness
- An open sore or wound that doesn’t heal for more than four weeks, or heals and then reopens or recurs
- A mole, birthmark, or beauty mark that grows larger, changes color, texture, or shape
Why Joseph F. Greco, M.D. is the Best Skin Cancer Surgeon for You
- 15-year history as a Mohs surgeon at UCLA, one of the premier hospital systems in the nation; also served as Director of UCLA Santa Monica Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery for 12 years
- Double board-certified by The American Board of Dermatology in Dermatology and Micrographic Dermatologic Surgery
- Fellowship trained in Mohs micrographic surgery, reconstructive surgery, cutaneous oncology, and laser surgery at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
- Served as Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor, Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
- A member of The American College of Mohs Surgery: the premier organization of fellowship-trained skin cancer and reconstructive surgeons specializing in Mohs micrographic surgery
- One of the first dermatologic surgeons to pass The American Board of Dermatology subspecialty exam to be certified in Micrographic Dermatologic Surgery 2021
- One of a select number of double board-certified and fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic surgeons in the country
- Appeared as a faculty presenter at numerous national conferences and workshops on surgical anatomy, advanced surgical reconstructive techniques, cutaneous oncology, and new laser and light source technologies
- Author of an extensive list of book chapters, publications, and national lectures in the field of surgical anatomy, Mohs micrographic surgery, reconstructive surgery, cutaneous oncology, laser surgery, and the surgical anatomy of the head and neck
- A 15-year history of skin cancer focus, which has allowed him to perform over 20,000 Mohs and surgical excision procedures
- Participated in the training 14 Mohs micrographic surgery fellows
- Recognized annually by peers as a SuperDoctor® in Southern California (2016-2022) as well as a TopDoctor® in Los Angeles in 2018
The Importance of Being Fellowship-Trained
When you choose to work with Greco Dermatology, you can feel confident and assured you’re in the excellent hands of a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon. In addition to being fellowship-trained himself, Joseph F. Greco, M.D. also trained other fellows at UCLA in Mohs surgery. Fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons must undergo:
- A competitive application, review, and selection process to be chosen for training
- Extensive hands-on direction and education from highly qualified trainers who are themselves skilled practitioners of the Mohs procedure
- 1-2 years of additional training after residency
- Exposure to rare tumor pathology, difficult tumor locations, and complex wound reconstruction
- A minimum of 650 cases during training
Conditions We Treat
Caused by severe sun damage, actinic keratoses are often characterized by small, dry, scaly, or crusty patches of skin. AKs are a collection of atypical cells called keratinocytes that develop in the top portion of your skin. Because AKs can become cancerous, they should be treated. We utilize blue light therapy, topical chemotherapy and immune response modifiers, or liquid nitrogen to treat them.
Angioma & Telangiectasia
Angiomas are benign growths that can be raised or smooth anywhere on the body. They are made of small blood vessels. Telangiectasias (spider veins) are dilated or broken blood vessels that are found close to the surface of the skin. Blood vessel-based conditions are often treated with focal electrosurgery, or laser treatments.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is incredibly common, and in fact is the most common kind of cancer in existence. It’s slow-moving and rarely spreads — and when detected early, it’s very treatable. Options for treatment include curettage and electrodesiccation, Mohs surgery, excisional surgery, photodynamic therapy, and radiation therapy (which we refer out to).
Cysts are often harmless, but they may be painful or aesthetically displeasing. There are also cases where they can be dangerous. Dr. Greco will expertly evaluate your cyst and determine if it needs to be drained or surgically removed. Regardless of the method, Dr. Greco may decide to collect the material and test it for cancerous cells.
A lipoma is a benign tumor made of fat tissue that develops just beneath the skin. They are often rubbery rather than hard, and not dangerous. However, if a patient wants to remove a lipoma for cosmetic or comfort reasons, Dr. Greco can take it out with excisional surgery that is an outpatient procedure. These lesions can be caused by genetics or injury.
Male & Female Pattern Hair Loss
Hair loss is one of the most cosmetically upsetting conditions, and it affects countless men and women. With hair restoration deep within our veins at Greco Dermatology, we are confident that we can help you with your hair loss. We offer many options for restoration, including hair transplant (Bio-FUE and Bio-FUT), photodynamic therapy, cytokine-rich plasma therapy (BioScalp), scalp micropigmentation, and topical/oral therapies.
Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer that can be fatal if left untreated. Although it can form anywhere on the skin, it’s most often located on the legs in females and the trunk in males. It’s also commonly found on the neck and face. Cancer begins when abnormal cells begin acting erratically and spreading to other parts of the body. Surgical excision is a common treatment.
Moles are skin lesions that are made up of cells that produce pigment. This makes them darker than their surrounding skin, and they can present as brown, black, blue, pink, or flesh-colored. They may also be raised up from the skin. Moles are usually benign, but it’s very important to have them checked yearly. If needed, moles can be removed via surgical shave or excision.
If you have a scar or scars on your face or body, sometimes it can feel like that’s all you see when you look in the mirror or see photos of yourself. We understand the disheartening effect scarring can have on your confidence, which is why we offer treatments for scars. We offer micropigmentation for scar camouflage, as well as our bio-enhanced skin therapy for scar treatment to trigger new collagen, making scars less visible.
This type of lesion is an overgrowth of skin cells that technically should fall off, but instead they become “sticky” and end up piling up on themselves. They are often caused by genetics and sun exposure. While they’re not dangerous, many people dislike their appearance and want them removed. Liquid nitrogen, electrosurgery, and shave removal are the most common treatments for removing them.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer, and it has a slightly higher chance of spreading internally than basal cell carcinoma. It’s typically caused by sun exposure mixed with your individual genetics. To treat it, we may perform Mohs micrographic surgery, surgical excision, electrodesiccation and curettage, topical chemotherapy and immune response modifiers, or radiation therapy (which we refer out).
Stretch marks can come from growth spurts, pregnancy, sudden weight gain and loss, and rapid muscle growth. Many individuals who have them are unhappy with the appearance they create on the skin, which is why we offer stretch mark camouflage with micropigmentation and bio-enhanced skin therapy, a treatment that utilizes cytokine-rich plasma in a natural protein matrix to help the skin build from within and look tighter, lighter, and smoother.
Sunspots are characterized by flat brown lesions caused by sun exposure. Although they’re not dangerous, like many benign spots, those who have them would prefer for them to be removed. At Greco Dermatology, sunspots can be treated using cryotherapy, microneedling, skin resurfacing, and photodynamic therapy (blue light therapy).
Many of our patients have aesthetic issues that bother them such as wrinkles, skin laxity, fine lines, and skin aging in general. This is where our innovative bio-enhanced skin therapy (BEST) procedures can make a significant improvement. Using the power of cytokine-rich plasma in a natural protein matrix, we offer anti-aging treatments to firm and smooth the skin of the face, neck, chest, and hands by inducing brand-new collagen growth and cell renewal.
Downtime After a Skin Exam
In general, there’s either very minimal or no downtime involved with a routine skin exam, and appointments can easily fit into a busy workday. However, it’s good to be aware that certain non-invasive procedures such as liquid nitrogen, cryotherapy, or minimally invasive skin biopsies may be indicated and performed during the visit. More in-depth procedures such as Mohs surgery and excision surgeries may be scheduled for a different day so we have plenty of time to perform the procedure.
You will leave the office after a routine skin exam with no observable change in appearance. At times, if a non-invasive or minimally invasive procedure is performed, you may have localized redness, minor swelling, slight itching, or burning. Small bandages or Band-Aids® will accompany skin biopsies.
In addition, the local anesthetic used for the procedure tends to last for a period of time after the appointment. Risks of focal bleeding, infection, or swelling are rare but potential complications to be aware of. We take all efforts to minimize and mitigate these risks. (Many patients have been known to leave in a very good mood, so be careful not to avoid smiling or laughing as much as possible!)
Follow-up visits will vary depending on the goals of your specific treatment plan, response to treatment, or if biopsy results warrant further treatment.
We realize that suspicious lesions may arise quickly, or that existing lesions undergo rapid symptomatic change and should not wait for the next routine exam. This is why we have dedicated urgent lesion visits specifically to address these instances. We want to increase access to a quick and focused evaluation.
Dr. Joseph Greco: A Top Skin Cancer Surgeon in Sarasota
Joseph F. Greco, M.D. is a Mohs surgeon and skin cancer specialist and a third-generation medical provider who has been in the realm of skin cancer for 15 years. Known for Mohs work at UCLA, Dr. Greco gained a unique and extensive work experience in the demanding environment of Los Angeles. Here he performed over 20,000 Mohs and excisional surgery procedures and was instrumental in the supervision and training of 14 Mohs micrographic surgery and cutaneous oncology fellows at UCLA. He also treated a number of celebrity clients. He is truly a top skin cancer surgeon and now, with his exceptional skin cancer center in Sarasota, he offers hope and healing to numerous patients. If you’re interested to meet with Dr. Greco in a consultation, we encourage you to contact our office today.