Elizabeth A. Spenceri, MD, FAAD


Board-Certified Dermatologist
Fellowship-Trained Mohs Surgeon
Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology

 

Dr. Elizabeth Spenceri is a board-certified dermatologist and fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon in Overland Park and Leawood, Kansas.

Dr. Elizabeth Spenceri’s specialized practice focuses on Mohs micrographic surgery and advanced skin surgery for a variety of medical and cosmetic diagnoses. Dr. Spenceri is a fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery, the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, and the American Academy of Dermatology. Dr. Spenceri has contributed to the field of dermatology by teaching residents and medical students, investigating new treatment modalities through medical research, and volunteering her services at skin cancer screenings. She enjoys providing quality, compassionate care to all her patients.

Dr. Spenceri was born in Kansas City and raised in Sedalia, Missouri. She graduated with honors from Rockhurst College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. Dr. Spenceri went on to receive her medical degree from Saint Louis University School of Medicine. After serving an internship at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis, she completed her residency in dermatology at Saint Louis University.

Dr. Spenceri continued her medical education by pursuing a one-year advanced fellowship in Mohs micrographic surgery, a unique method of treating skin cancer that conserves normal tissue while providing the highest cure rates. She has received additional training in advanced wound reconstruction, which allows special attention to cosmetic results after skin cancer removal. Dr. Spenceri has also received extensive training in a wide variety of cosmetic surgery procedures and many different laser systems. After her fellowship, she entered private practice in St. Louis. Family, friends, and a true love for the greater Kansas City area prompted Dr. Spenceri to relocate to Overland Park and open her own medical practice.

Dr. Elizabeth Spenceri merged with U.S. Dermatology Partners in November 2015 at the Leawood and Overland Park locations.

Specialties and Affiliations
  • American College of Mohs Surgery
  • American Society of Dermatologic Surgery
  • American Academy of Dermatology
Badges and Awards

 

Services Offered By Dr. Elizabeth Spenceri

What Is Actinic Keratosis?

Actinic Keratosis, also known as solar keratosis, is a scaly or crusty lesion on the skin that develops slowly and indicates the presence of sun damage. It is most commonly found on parts of the body frequently exposed to the sun including the bald scalp, face, ears, lips, backs of the hands or forearms, neck, and shoulders.

Actinic Keratosis two days after a freezing removal treatment

Actinic keratosis improves just two days after a freezing removal treatment.

Actinic keratoses are considered precancerous and can develop into a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. In fact, some 40 to 60 percent of squamous cell skin cancers begin as untreated actinic keratoses.

Because of this, your doctor should be diligent in diagnosing, treating and monitoring actinic keratosis.

What Is Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Basal Cell Carcinoma, also known as basalioma or basal cell cancer, is the most common type of skin cancer and carries the least amount of risk, though it still requires attention. If caught and treated early, basal cell carcinomas are not likely to be life-threatening, but they do have the potential to cause disfigurement of the skin tissue.

Almost one million new cases of basal cell carcinoma are diagnosed each year in the U.S., and up to 30% of Caucasians may develop basal cell carcinomas in their lifetime.

Basal cell carcinoma treatment

Basal cell carcinoma can be treated by removing the affected area.

Skin cancer is considered low risk when the affected cells remain clustered in a single group. Both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are rarely life-threatening. Though it is unlikely to spread to other parts of your body, if left untreated, basal cell carcinoma can move into nearby bone or other tissue.

Basal cell carcinoma typically begins as a small, shiny bump on the face, although it can occur on any part of the body.

What Is Melanoma?

Melanoma, the deadliest of skin cancers, only accounts for about 4 percent of all skin cancer cases, but causes about 79 percent of skin cancer deaths.

Melanoma is a cancer of the skin that begins in the melanocytes, which are the cells that produce the pigment melanin. It is the leading cause of cancer death in women 25 to 30 years old and the second leading cause of cancer death in women 30 to 35 years old.

In some cases, melanoma occurs in melanocytes throughout the body, even if those parts have never been exposed to the sun.

 

What Is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery offers the highest cure rates for all non-melanoma skin cancers. For certain cases of the most common types of skin cancer — squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma — the cure rate can be as high as 99 percent.

Mohs surgery is a highly specialized surgical technique used to treat non-melanoma skin cancers in which the surgeon removes all of the visible cancer, plus a small margin of the surrounding healthy tissue and examines it to ensure that all cancer cells have been removed at the time of surgery.

Before and After Mohs Surgery Technique

The Mohs surgery technique treats skin cancers by removing all of the visible cancer. Image Source: newhealthadvisor.com

During Mohs micrographic surgery — named after Dr. Frederic Mohs, who first performed it in the 1930s — cancer is removed from the skin layer by layer until all cancerous cells have been removed. This type of surgery is most commonly used for cancers that have a high risk of re-occurrence. This technique allows for complete removal of the skin cancer while minimizing the removal of surrounding healthy skin.

What Is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. with more than 3.5 million cases diagnosed each year.

Skin cancer is the result of uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells that takes place when skin cells suffer DNA damage and then mutate, causing them to multiply rapidly and form malignant (cancerous) tumors. Most skin cancers develop on the visible outer layer of the skin (the epidermis), particularly on sun-exposed areas such as the face, head, hands, arms and legs. They are usually easy to detect with a skin examination, which increases the chances of early diagnosis.

There are different types of skin cancer, each named for the type of skin cell from which they originate. The most common type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma. Almost one million new cases of basal cell carcinoma are diagnosed each year in the U.S. Most skin cancers fall into one of three categories:

There are often warning signs that cancer is developing. The most common are pre-cancerous lesions called actinic keratoses that often develop on sun-exposed areas. These tumors replace normal surrounding tissue and generally do not spread to other areas.

Skin cancer is considered low risk when the affected cells remain clustered in a single group. Both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are rarely life-threatening.

Skin cancer is considered a high risk when cells have invaded surrounding tissues. The third most common skin cancer, malignant melanoma, can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.

If skin cancer is detected before it has spread to surrounding tissues, the chances of a complete recovery and cure are excellent. High-risk forms of cancer like melanoma require more aggressive treatments.

Doctor removing mole from a patient's shoulder.

Suspicious moles should be watched closely, as they might indicate a cancerous growth.

What Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Squamous Cell Carcinoma is a common form of skin cancer that develops in the squamous cells that make up the outer layer of the skin. Although it is usually not life-threatening, it can be aggressive in some cases.

If left untreated, squamous cell carcinoma can grow large or spread to other parts of your body, causing serious complications.

Dermatologist examining male patient's skin for signs of Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Your dermatologist will be able to examine your skin for signs of squamous cell carcinoma.

What Is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy, or “cryosurgery,” is a simple, non-invasive procedure in which liquid nitrogen is used to freeze and destroy growths on the surface of the skin. This is an effective treatment for precancerous skin lesions (actinic keratoses), as well as other skin conditions such as warts, skin tags and moles.

Applying liquid nitrogen to skin lesions allows dermatologists to target the damaged skin cells and destroy them at the cellular level. After freezing, the affected area may blister and scab over, and should heal within three to six weeks.

Our dermatology team uses cryosurgery to treat a wide range of conditions. It offers a number of advantages: Cryotherapy is a simple, affordable outpatient procedure, the discomfort level is minimal, and there is a low risk of infection.

In cryotherapy treatment, liquid nitrogen is applied to the skin to freeze and destroy the affected tissue.

In cryotherapy treatment, liquid nitrogen is applied to the skin to freeze and destroy the affected tissue.

What Are Skin Cysts?

Cysts are pockets of tissue (sacs) that may become filled with pus, fluids, skin cells, and even air.

They are fairly common on the skin and can appear anywhere on the body. Cysts may feel like a pea under the surface of the skin, but without removal, they can grow significantly larger over time. In most cases, cysts are not painful, and they grow slowly. There are different types of cysts as we’ll discuss in the next section, and the vast majority of these skin growths are benign (not cancerous). Not all cysts will require treatment, but it is vitally important to have any lump under the skin evaluated and diagnosed by a board-certified dermatologist because some soft tissue malignancies (growths that are cancerous) can present like a cyst. Before recommending removal or other cyst treatments, your dermatologist will examine the growth to determine whether it is likely to cause you pain, become infected, or otherwise lead to skin health issues.

Dermatologist treating cyst on patient's back

Skin cysts, which can appear anywhere on the body, are usually painless and grow slowly.

What Are Moles?

Atypical moles, also known as dysplastic nevi, are unusual-looking benign (noncancerous) moles.

A dysplastic mole is one that, when viewed on a cellular level, has features unlike those of a healthy, benign mole. A benign mole will have a regular pattern of coloration and pigment, even borders, symmetry, and a tan or pink color. Dysplastic moles can be asymmetric, have indistinct borders, or contain multiple colors or very dark pigment.

Dysplastic moles are often spotted as the “ugly duckling” on a patient’s skin. Any departure from the typical mole a person’s skin makes may be dysplastic. They can appear anywhere on the body, but in most cases are found on the back, chest, buttocks, breasts, or scalp.

Benign mole on skin

People with atypical moles are at a higher risk of developing melanoma.

What Is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition characterized by small, hard bumps that may make your skin feel like sandpaper. Most often they appear on your upper arms, thighs and buttocks, and sometimes are accompanied by redness or swelling. In some cases they may appear on your face.

It is caused by a buildup of keratin, a protein that protects skin from infections. When a buildup forms, it blocks the opening of a hair follicle and creates the bumps, but doctors don’t know what triggers the buildup.

Keratosis pilaris (clogged pores and keratin overproduction) on the skin.

Keratosis pilaris, a condition where keratin overproduction causes clogged pores, can lead to red bumps and irritation on the skin.

Safe and Effective Skin Cancer Treatment

Photodynamic Therapy, often referred to simply as PDT, is a medical treatment that uses photosensitizing agents and light exposure to treat a range of conditions, including skin cancers, acne, and actinic keratosis (“pre-cancers”). You can learn more about photodynamic therapy on this page, and the U.S. Dermatology Partners team would love to hear from you if you’re interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss photodynamic therapy.  Simply use our online request form to schedule a consultation visit at the U.S. Dermatology Partners office closest to you.

Photodynamic Therapy PDT

Image Source: MedicineNet.com

What Is Sebaceous Hyperplasia?

Sebaceous hyperplasia is a benign bump on the skin that forms as a result of over-productive oil glands. When oil glands are damaged, they can become enlarged and clogged, leading to this condition. It is primarily a cosmetic concern rather than a medical problem.

Sebaceous hyperplasia is a benign bump on the skin that forms as a result of over-productive oil glands

Sebaceous hyperplasia is a benign bump on the skin that forms as a result of over-productive oil glands.

What Is Seborrheic Keratosis?

Seborrheic keratosis is one of the most common noncancerous skin growths found in older adults. It most commonly appears as a brown, black or light tan growth on the face, chest, shoulders or back. Although they are not cancerous, they can look like skin cancer.

Seborrheic keratosis also known as seborrheic verruca or a senile wart.

Seborrheic keratosis is also known as seborrheic verruca or a senile wart.

 

Sunscreen 101

Individuals who are prone to sunburn are thought to be genetically predisposed to skin cancer. Risk is also increased when exposure to UV rays is excessive. Sunscreen helps prevent the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation, including skin aging and skin cancer like melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Sunscreens are rated and labeled with a sun protection factor (SPF) that measures the fraction of sunburn-producing UV rays that reach the skin. The higher the SPF, the greater the protection.

Sunscreen is a topical product that is used to reflect or absorb some of the ultraviolet rays from the sun.

Sunscreen is a topical product that is used to reflect or absorb some of the ultraviolet rays from the sun.

Insurance Plans Accepted By Dr. Elizabeth Spenceri

Dr. Elizabeth Spenceriaccepts most major insurance plans. If your plan is not listed above, please contact the office to verify coverage.

What Our Patients Say

Elizabeth Spenceri, MD
5 Stars  I was extremely impressed with the courtesy and professionalism displayed by Dr. Spenceri and staff. It is comforting to have a physician explain the procedures in plain english and gave me three operations to consider after the diagnosis. Thanks again for making this experience as pleasant as possible. –
Source : Healthgrades – Jan 17, 2021
Elizabeth Spenceri, MD
5 Stars  Was great –
Source : Healthgrades – Jan 01, 2021
Elizabeth Spenceri, MD
5 Stars  Prompt, Professional service. ( Mohs procedure done) Short wait time. Follow up from staff day after minor surgery. Apparent meticulous work. I appreciated their working me into their busy schedule. –
Source : Healthgrades – Dec 20, 2020