Khloe Kardashian's Face Tumor: What You Need to Know About Getting Your Skin Checked

Dr. Tess Mauricio, who worked with Khloe Kardashian to remove the tumor from her face, exclusively tells E! News how to prevent skin cancer, why it's important to get checkups and more.

By Alli Rosenbloom, Alyssa Morin Oct 11, 2022 11:21 PMTags
Watch: Khloe Kardashian Has Surgery to Remove Face Tumor

Khloe Kardashian's skin cancer scare is inspiring others to keep up with their health.

The Kardashians star revealed she recently underwent a procedure to remove a tumor from her face after she noticed a small bump on her cheek.

"I decided to get it biopsied 7 months after realizing it was not budging," she shared in a series of Instagram Stories on Oct. 11. "A few days later I was told I need to have an immediate operation."

The Good American founder went on to detail her experience in the hopes of helping others.

"At 19 years old, I had melanoma on my back, and I had a surgery to remove that as well, so I am pre-composed to melanomas," the 38-year-old wrote. "Even those who are not, we should be checking all the time."

She's not wrong.

In an exclusive interview with E! News, Dr. Tess Mauricio, who worked with Kardashian alongside Dr. Garth Fischer amid her health scare, broke down the importance of getting regular checkups, how the reality TV star avoided skin cancer and more.

Celeb Cancer Survivors

Why did Khloe Kardashian need a biopsy for the tumor on her face?

After getting a second biopsy, Kardashian said that what the doctors were seeing "was incredibly rare for someone" her age. Mauricio, a Los Angeles-based dermatologist, noted that there is a spectrum of benign normal moles and most of the time, the naked eye can't decipher if there's an underlying issue.

"You have to be careful if there's new growth," she said, "because, sometimes, even a dermatologist can't 100 percent tell. We have to take a biopsy and send it to the pathologist to make sure."

In the fashion mogul's case, she believed she simply had a blemish that wouldn't budge. But as Mauricio pointed out, it would've healed long before seven months—when the reality TV star decided to get it checked out.

"A pimple should go away within a week or two and be totally gone," Mauricio explained, "But if it's a spot you've had looked at, they've done different treatments on it and it's still there, that spot needs a biopsy."


Does Khloe Kardashian have skin cancer?

While Kardashian wasn't diagnosed with melanoma or any other form of skin cancer, Mauricio said, "If it was left there, it's possible."

"Khloe has a history of melanoma, so there's already heightened awareness of risk," the Stanford alum detailed. "Once you've had skin cancer, your risk for developing future ones increases."

"For patients like her, surveillance is key," she continued, "If you don't have a history of skin cancer, make it part of your yearly checkup. If you've had skin cancer and they've done surgery, and they say borders are clear and you're good, every six months is suggested."


How can you prevent melanoma and other skin cancers?

"With melanoma, there's the ABCDE that people need to remember," the Los Angeles-based dermatologist advised. "A is asymmetry. If you put a line in the middle of a new pigmentation growth, the two sides should match. If they don't, then that's what we call asymmetric."

While she said it's a sign of possible melanoma, it's not 100 percent. 

"B is border and should be very smooth, no jagged edges," Mauricio continued. "C is color and should be uniform throughout—you shouldn't have different shades of pigmentation within the mole or the pigmented lesion."

As for the last two alphabetical letters? She added, "D is diameter—growth and pigmentation bigger than a pencil eraser are concerning. E is evolution. If it's changing, if it's itching, if it's bleeding, then you need to see a dermatologist right away."

When do you need to get check ups and how often should they be?

"If you have a family history of melanoma that increases your risk, nott just with melanoma but with other skin cancers," the doctor stated. "You should get checked. And if you've had sunburns as a child or as an adult that also increases your risk of melanoma and skin cancers."

She continued, "Young people can get skin cancers...so, early detection is key."


Is sunscreen really necessary?

The short answer: Yes. But you already knew that.

"The UVA rays from the sun can damage the skin," the M Beauty Clinic founder explained, "and not only make it prone to the signs of aging but can cause skin cancers."

And there's no excuse to not apply SPF with so many options available, as Mauricio said, "It can be in your makeup, it can be a spray, it can be a gel, there are so many formulations now."

She encourages re-application throughout the day, especially if you are sweating or spending time outdoors. "Wear your hats," she added. "Wear your big sunglasses, use a rash guard and seek shade."