Oscar R. Colegio, MD, PhD, says his favorite part of being a dermatologist is establishing and fostering long-term relationships with his patients. Most of them have a high risk for developing skin cancer, often because they have had skin cancer in the past and have been referred to him for specialized care.
“More than 95 percent of skin cancers can be completely eradicated through early detection and treatment,” says Dr. Colegio. “This is a fact that my patients often find reassuring,” he says. It’s also why Dr. Colegio provides such comprehensive skin care, including thorough skin cancer screenings, treatment of precancerous actinic keratoses (through liquid nitrogen cryotherapy or photodynamic therapy) and skin biopsies of suspicious moles.
Dr. Colegio is also an expert in treating people who have received a solid organ donation—a potential side effect of the anti-rejection drugs they take following transplant surgery is an increased risk for developing skin cancer.
An associate professor of dermatology, pathology and surgery at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Colegio conducts research on skin cancers and skin disorders resulting from organ transplantation. He also studies the role of immune cells in tumor progression.
He says he is driven by a desire to help patients through scientific discovery. “My passion stems from translating findings from the clinic to the laboratory and back,” says Dr. Colegio.