Dermatology Clinic

High-Risk Skin Cancer Clinic

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Director: Carolyn Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

Stanford’s Department of Dermatology provides the highest level of care for patients with immune deficits leading to an elevated burden or risk of developing skin cancer. Specifically, appropriate indications for follow-up in the clinic include the following: history of transplantation (solid organ and hematopoetic/stem cell), active lymphoma (e.g. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia), substantial immunosuppression for other purposes (e.g., autoimmune disease), and genetic predisposition (e.g. Xeroderma Pigmentosa, Gorlin’s syndrome, Rombo syndrome).

Patients are seen in the Dermatology Clinic in the Stanford Medical Outpatient Center (SMOC) in the Pavilion B, 4th Floor. The clinic is held on two Mondays a month.

Patient Line: 650-723-6316
Physician Line: 650-721-8211 OR

Email: Geraldine Tolentino, RN at

Why is this clinic necessary?

Patients with one of the above indications generally have elevated risk of developing skin cancer. The immune system (which normally fights off infection) also plays an important role in regulating and suppressing the growth of skin cancer. Reduction in the immune system function takes off the brakes, so to speak, on the development of skin cancer.
Patients with solid organ transplantation are at a substantially elevated risk of developing Squamous and Basal Cell Carcinomas of the skin. Rates of Malignant Melanoma are above normal as well. Furthermore, immunosuppression is a strong risk factor for the development of a rare but serious skin cancer Merkel Cell Carcinoma.

How does the clinic help?

  1. The high-risk skin cancer clinic provides education for sun-protection and self-skin examination. Daily sun-protection with sunblock, protective clothing, and reasonable sun-avoidance during peak ultraviolet index times of the day is necessary.
  2. Regular follow-ups with thorough skin cancer examinations help detect concerning lesions while they are easier to manage.
  3. Chemoprevention (i.e., using medications to help reduce the onset of skin cancer) is employed when appropriate.
  4. Regular treatments – when necessary – with “field therapy” for treating heavily sun-damaged skin help prevent the development of skin cancers.
  5. Destruction, biopsy, and removal of concerning lesions are routinely performed as needed.
  6. Surgical excision and/or Mohs micrographic surgery, in partnership with Mohs Surgery Director Dr. Sumaira Aasi, is also standard practice.

Clinic News and Updates
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is up and running at Stanford! More>>

Solid Organ Transplantation


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