Melanoma Specialist

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Skin Cancer Specialists

Dermatologists & Skin Cancer Surgery located in Sugar Land, TX

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Over the last 10 years, new cases of melanoma have followed a steady upward trend. At the same time, the death rates are falling thanks to experts in the field like Tarek Fakhouri, MD, at Skin Cancer Specialists. Dr. Fakhouri specializes in identifying melanoma at its earliest stage and successfully removing the cancer with in-office surgery. If you notice a change in an existing mole or a new mole develops, call the office in Sugarland, Texas, or book an appointment online.

Melanoma Q & A

How dangerous is melanoma?

Melanoma is the sixth most common cancer in the U.S. and the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Although it’s highly curable at an early stage, untreated melanoma spreads to lymph nodes and internal organs. Once it metastasizes, melanoma is hard to treat and often deadly.

What causes melanoma?

Melanoma is primarily caused by intense exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, whether from sunlight or tanning beds. Excessive UV light leads to DNA damage in melanocytes, which are pigment-producing cells in your skin. The mutated DNA makes cells grow too rapidly and profusely, forming clusters of cells that become malignant. Your risk of developing melanoma is higher if you:
  • Use tanning beds
  • Fail to protect your skin from the sun
  • Had five or more blistering sunburns between the ages of 15 to 20
  • Have more than 50 moles on your body or you have large moles
  • Have a light-colored skin, red or blond hair, and blue or green eyes
If you have a family history of melanoma, you may have an inherited tendency that increases your risk.

How can I recognize the signs of melanoma?

Melanoma often develops in an existing mole, but it can also appear as a new skin lesion. You can recognize melanoma using two techniques:


Ugly duckling sign

A lesion that’s cancerous looks different from other moles and spots on your skin. It may be larger and darker or smaller and red compared to surrounding lesions. If you don’t have moles, the appearance of a new lesion is suspicious for melanoma.


ABCDE method

Use this method to evaluate existing moles:

  • Asymmetry: one side of the mole doesn’t match the other
  • Border: mole borders should be smooth and even, not irregular or poorly defined
  • Color: normal moles are one color; cancerous moles are a mix of colors
  • Diameter: moles should be smaller than the eraser on a pencil
  • Evolving: Moles should never change their appearance

When the appearance of a mole changes, it’s important to call Dr. Fakhouri for skin cancer screening.

How is melanoma treated?

Dr. Fakhouri surgically removes most melanomas in the office. If he determines your melanoma is more advanced, the team at Skin Cancer Specialists will connect you with the experts you need.


If you see changes in a mole, or you’d like to schedule skin cancer screening, call Skin Cancer Specialists, or book an appointment online.