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Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is a very serious condition that affects millions of Americans each and every year. It can develop in people of all ages, and is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Studies show that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime.

At Dermatology Consultants, our skilled dermatologists have a wide range of options for treating skin cancers, including surgical removal of the tissue, cryosurgery (freezing the cells), prescription topical therapy, photodynamic therapy (using a light-sensitive medication with a laser), and Superficial Radiation Therapy (treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer). Skin cancer surgery is usually done right in our office and typically takes only a few minutes.

When one of our dermatologists detects cells that may be cancerous in your skin, he or she will conduct a thorough examination, typically involving a biopsy, to make an accurate diagnosis. Then he or she will determine if surgery is right for you, and what kind of treatment is ideal for your case.

Types Of Skincancer

There are 3 main types of skin cancer:

Basal Cell Carcinoma
The most common type of skin cancer, Basal cell carcinoma usually develops on the head and neck. Caused mainly by sun exposure, this type of skin cancer grows slowly and rarely spreads to other parts of the body.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is mainly caused by sun exposure, so it may be diagnosed on many regions of the skin. It can also develop on skin that has been burned, damaged by chemicals, or exposed to x-rays. About 2% to 5% of squamous cell carcinomas spread to other parts of the body.
There are scattered cells called melanocytes where the epidermis meets the dermis. Melanoma starts in melanocytes, and is the most aggressive type of skin cancer. It accounts for only about 1% of all skin cancers but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. Nearly 20 Americans die from melanoma every day.

A fourth type of cancer, Merkel cell cancer is a highly aggressive, or fast-growing, rare cancer. It starts in hormone-producing cells just beneath the skin and in the hair follicles. It is usually found in the head and neck region. Merkel cell cancer may also be called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin.

Skin Cancer Screening

Starting at the age of 20, we encourage our patients to perform monthly self-examinations for skin cancer, especially if it runs in your family. We recommend that patients use the ABCDE system for checking your moles.

Additionally, you should come in and have the doctors do a full-body examination at least once a year, more if you have a history of skin cancer. Our skilled dermatologists will examine your skin for suspicious moles or lesions, and take samples, if necessary, to be biopsied by a pathologist. If we detect the three forms of skin cancer – Basal Cell, Squamous Cell or Melanoma – the dangerous cells can be removed.

A is for Asymmetry: One half of the spot is unlike the other half.

B is for Border: The spot has an irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border.

C is for Color: The spot has varying colors from one area to the next, such as shades of tan, brown or black, or areas of white, red, or blue.

D is for Diameter: While melanomas are usually greater than 6 millimeters, or about the size of a pencil eraser, when diagnosed, they can be smaller.

E is for Evolving: The spot looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape, or color.

Mohs Surgery & Surgical Excisions

Mohs is a precise surgical technique used to treat skin cancer, where thin layers of cancer-containing skin are removed and examined repeatedly until only cancer-free tissue remains. This procedure allows for minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue and is usually done on an outpatient basis using a local anesthetic.

We also can remove benign or malignant growths, such as moles, lesions, and tumors, from your skin. Usually performed using local anesthesia, which ensures that you feel no pain during the procedure.

Mohs Surgeons

Dermatology Consultants has Mohs Surgeons on staff. These board-certified dermatologists are specially trained in skin cancer and reconstructive surgery accredited through the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS).

Michael Liu, M.D. photo

Michael Liu, M.D.

Areas Served: AtlantaCovington
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Dr. Michael Liu is a board-certified dermatologist, specializing as a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon. His journey in medicine has been driven by a genuine desire to make a meaningful impact on patients' lives, particularly on providing specialized care to those facing skin cancer diagnoses.

As a Mohs surgeon, his aim is not only to cure patients but to guide them through the journey with empathy and understanding. He has seen and understands the emotional and physical toll that skin conditions can take on individuals and their families. Dr. Liu's goal is to ensure that you feel valued and cared for throughout your skin cancer treatment, just like how he would treat a family member.

"I hope to offer patients myself as not only a skilled Mohs surgeon but also a partner in their quest for healing."


⁃Mohs Derm Surgery Fellowship: University of Toronto, 2020-2021
⁃Dermatology Residency: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2017-2020
⁃Internal Medicine Internship: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 2016-2017
⁃Medical School: University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), 2012-2016
⁃Undergraduate: Stanford University, 2008-2012

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SRT (Superficial Radiation Therapy)

Our GentleCure Image-Guided SRT is the surgery-free cure for Basal, Squamous Cell and other non-Melanoma Skin Cancers. Unlike Mohs surgery, SRT uses low levels of X-ray energy to eliminate the cancer without cutting, pain and recovery time. LEARN MORE.

Skin Of Color

Although dark-skinned people have a natural protection against skin cancer, that doesn’t mean it can’t occur. It does – most frequently where skin is lightest, such as the palms, soles of the feet, and around the nail bed. This is most true for Asians, Native Americans, and people of African descent. In Hispanics, melanoma occurs most frequently on the legs. Because it is frequently misdiagnosed as plantar warts (on the soles of the feet), tinea manuum (a fungus occurring on the palms of the hands), or a condition known as talon noir or black heel, and because many people do not seek treatment early on, the melanoma death rate is highest among people with dark skin. The lifesaving answers lie in awareness and early diagnosis.


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