Melanoma Program

In 1983, doctors gave Peggy Maddox a few months to live, with a grim melanoma diagnosis.  After an experimental treatment provided by the John Wayne Cancer Institute, today Peggy is enjoying a cancer-free life.  Our physicians dedicate much of their time to research to cure melanoma cancer.

World-class resources to diagnose and treat skin cancer

The Melanoma Program in the John Wayne Cancer Clinics at Providence Saint John’s Health Center integrates the most current knowledge of cancer genetics, world-class resources for diagnosing and staging skin cancers, and leading-edge treatment approaches to provide personalized care and support services to patients diagnosed with invasive or non-invasive melanoma. This year, more than 1,200 patients will be seen for melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma,  Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans , Merkel cell carcinoma and other skin cancers by John Wayne Cancer Center physicians.

Lead by dedicated physician scientists

When searching for cancer care, you want physicians and surgeons who can offer the most current treatments available.  At Providence Saint John’s Health Center, we are honored to have a care team who are faculty researchers at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, and who also treat patients in our cancer center. 

Less time from initial evaluation to diagnosis

We understand the prospect of having cancer is frightening, and waiting for a diagnosis creates added stress and anxiety.  Our team works to schedule your appointment quickly, and your complete evaluation is often able to be completed on the day of your initial visit. This includes an expert review of any biopsies by our Pathology Department where we have found this often provides critical, new information for your diagnosis that can impact your treatment.    

Treatment designed with the patient in mind

While here you’ll receive the highest level of care in calm, tranquil environment designed with healing in mind. Our team is responsive, scheduling patients promptly. Many patients, particularly those with low-risk cancers can complete treatment during the same visit, decreasing the need for repeat trips. Many of our patients who travel from a long distance have found this particularly helpful.

Our program is recognized locally, nationally and internationally for the evaluation and treatment of:


Each patient that comes to the Melanoma Program at Providence Saint John’s is cared for by a multidisciplinary team of experts who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers. Depending on the type and stage of your cancer, your care team may include:

  • Dermatologists who monitor your overall skin health
    • For most patients, your primary, local dermatologist remains a key figure in your long-term follow up.
    • Pathologists and dermatopathologists with extensive experience diagnosing skin cancers
      • Pathology review by these experts can have an important impact on the quality of your treatment.
      • Collaborating medical oncologists on the John Wayne Cancer Institute faculty combine knowledge of the most promising research-based medical therapies with proven, standard treatment to offer the best options for each patient
      • Surgical oncologists skilled in the latest techniques for treating invasive and non-invasive melanoma
      • Reconstructive or plastic surgeons to help restore function and appearance post-surgery if necessary
      • Oncology nurses who specialize in cancer care
      • A nutritionist to help you with questions about diet and nutrition during treatment
      • A geneticist for patients who may be at risk for inherited cancer syndromes

Members of your care team meet regularly with you and your referring physician to ensure good communication and coordination of care.

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