Home Forums Melanoma: Newly Diagnosed – Stages I & II Specialist Recommendations in So Cal?

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    Hello everyone,

    Thank you in advance to anyone who can offer some input. My dad was diagnosed last week and it’s looking pretty high risk. We are bracing ourselves and preparing for a fight. He is a member of Kaiser in Orange County and we quickly realized that they do not have any melanoma oncologists on their staff anywhere. So, that being said, we are in the process of identifying the best options for specialized care and treatment available in the Southern California area. We received one recommendation for Dr. Michael Wong at USC from a family friend who is an oncologist, but are also looking for other local recommendations so that we have options and ensure he will truly get the best possible care available. I know that there are several centers in the LA area as well as La Jolla.

    Any input, suggestions, info, etc…is extremely appreciated!!


    I’m in south Orange County and was referred by my dermatologist to UCI (Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center), and James Jakowatz specifically. UCI/Chao is considered a center of excellence, and is designated a National Cancer Institute.

    Dr. J is down to earth, compassionate and makes me laugh. He immediately put me at ease, and he has a world-wide reputation for his expertise. He takes his time, answers my questions, and explains things in a way I can understand them. The staff at the Center have always been helpful, and return my calls.

    There are other faculty members there who are also considered melanoma specialists. It looks like their website is undergoing some changes, but here’s the link to the home page that can at least get you started.


    Hope this helps – we are so lucky to live in an area that has so many centers of excellence! When my friends ask why I didn’t go to Mission or Hoag, I always answer with something I read here, and that is “I’d rather be seen by someone who sees five melanoma patients in one morning than one who sees five melanoma patients in one year.”

    Best wishes.


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