One-in-five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Let that sink in for a moment – One. In. Five!
The good news is that when caught in its early stages, skin cancer is highly curable.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends an annual skin exam performed by a dermatologist and monthly self-exams performed at home to catch cancer before it has a chance to reach the point where it can cause disfigurement or death.
Wondering if you’re at increased risk of skin cancer? You are if you have…
Skin exams, both self-check and by a dermatologist, will help to identify any suspicious moles, growth, or changes to your skin.
Look for these 3 things when you’re performing a self-exam:
Make the most of your professional Full Body Skin Exam by following these tips:
During your 10-20 minute appointment, the dermatologist will check for any moles that look unusual. For a thorough exam, you’ll need to take off all of your clothes and wear a medical exam gown. You’ll be asked if you’ve noticed any spots that concern you, then every inch of your body will be examined.
During the screening, the dermatologist is checking for “ABCDEs” in your moles, which are all possible signs of skin cancer:
You’ll also be checked for actinic keratosis, or sun damage, which can turn into skin cancer if left untreated.
If the dermatologist finds a mole that looks problematic, a biopsy will be performed to determine if it is skin cancer.
During the biopsy, you’ll receive a local numbing medicine and the mole will be scraped to collect a sample. Then the specimen will be sent to a lab, where a trained pathologist will check it under a microscope for cancer cells.
If the biopsy results are benign, no further action will be required, but if cancer is detected, the dermatologist will call to discuss your treatment options with you.
Schedule your Full Body Skin Exam with Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater online at www.idtidewater.com or by calling the office at (757) 461-1033.