Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. In this type, cancer cells form in the tissues of the skin. When caught early, it is highly treatable. A skin cancer screening is an early detection method designed to identify problems before symptoms are present. While specific factors put you at an increased risk for developing skin cancer, everyone should have their skin checked regularly.
Skin Cancer Screening: What Happens
Skin cancer screenings are the best way to detect melanoma and other skin cancers in their early stages when they are easiest to treat. If you are at increased risk for skin cancer, it is recommended you get one done annually. These risks include having the following:
- Red or blond hair, fair skin, freckles, and blue or light-colored eyes
- More than 50 moles
- History of frequent or intense sun exposure
- One or more blistering sunburns
- Family history of melanoma
- Personal history of basal cell and/or squamous cell skin cancers
A dermatologist is the best option to conduct the exam since they specialize in different skin issues. Your doctor may also perform the exam but may refer you to a dermatologist if any problems present. Since skin cancer can form anywhere on the surface of the skin, your entire body will be checked from your scalp to the soles of your feet. It takes about ten minutes, and the doctor will visually examine the skin for any skin cancer symptoms.
If you are not at an increased risk, you should still self-examine and become familiar with your skin and report any changes or concerns.
Skin Cancer Signs and Next Steps
If any issues are found, your doctor will determine whether to monitor the area and follow-up or take a biopsy (sample) of it and send it for testing. Once the biopsy results are back, you will be contacted with the results and follow-up actions to take if needed.
ForCare houses state-of-the-art facilities that feature cutting edge solutions for skin cancer prevention and treatment, along with general and cosmetic dermatology. To set up an appointment, call us at (813) 960-2400 or click here.