Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States, yet it runs on a diverse spectrum of curability.
While two of its most common forms, Basal Cell Carcinoma, and Squamous Cell Carcinoma, are both curable when treated properly and promptly; certain skin cancers, such as Melanoma, are more deadly than others and can be fatal.
However, it remains a fact that all forms of skin cancer, like most cancers, hold a better chance of being cured if detected and treated at an early stage. Consequently, early skin cancer screening is highly encouraged.
Don’t be daunted by the name, here is a fully equipped guide to skin cancer screening and all there is to know!
What Is Skin Cancer Screening?
First things first, what is skin cancer screening?
A skin cancer screening is a procedure performed to check for the presence of skin cancer. It is not used in the diagnosis of cancer. If skin cancer is suspected after a screening, a procedure known as a skin biopsy will be performed to determine whether or not you have cancer.
Skin cancer screenings consist of a visual examination to detect anything abnormal.
Typically, it is a complete examination from head to toe, covering any places that the patient feels comfortable having examined.
Such screenings are made possible by dermatologists who are dedicated to identifying skin cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage and lowering the disease’s occurrence by increasing awareness of effective skin cancer preventive methods.
When To Schedule An Appointment?
Most medical organizations in the United States do not have precise age guidelines for when to begin having visual skin examinations. Therefore, it is safe to say that there is no “wrong” time to begin screening.
Anyone who has a risk factor for skin cancer, or suspects something, should have a skin screening performed.
Some symptoms of skin cancer include:
- Skin prone to burning and/or freckles
- History of skin cancer in the family
- Frequent exposure to sun and/or sunburn
- Numerous moles
- Open sores that bleed
- Persistent skin itching
- Scaly patches on the skin
If you or any of your loved ones feel a few of these symptoms lining up, it is better to be on the safe side and get yourselves screened ASAP.
What Happens If They Find Something?
If your doctor discovers an area that seems to be precancerous, they will likely want to photograph it and conduct a skin biopsy.
A biopsy involves the removal of a tiny quantity of tissue by the doctor for examination under a microscope by a pathologist. This is a straightforward procedure that may be completed immediately.
That sample will be submitted to a laboratory for analysis, and your doctor will notify you when the findings are ready.
Schedule A Screening
If you feel that you might have a certain risk factor or you have been simply exposed to the sun a lot, schedule an appointment with Christie Pinolini.
When the matter concerns health, it is always better to keep your bases covered.