Skin Cancer Screening – 5 Things you Need to Know
With greater awareness of the risks of skin cancer, more people are coming to doctors to discuss their options. Skin cancer is common and potentially deadly. It can also be treated if caught early through regular preventative screenings. If you notice abnormal moles or changes in the size or shape of existing moles, always call a doctor. You can schedule an appointment with dermatologists and cancer specialists. Sometimes, doctors will just want to keep an eye on things. Other times, it could mean working with cancer specialists to start treatment. This can be caught in both yearly and other screenings.
Some people still put their screenings off because of fear or inconvenience. You can always find something else to do. Making a single appointment every year could save your life. Of course, skin care prevention is more complicated. Things like wearing sunscreen and performing regular self-checks are essential. Sometimes, moles and other signs of skin cancer can hide in areas you might not expect. So be vigilant. What else should you know about skin cancer and regular screenings?
You’re Never Too Young for Cancer Screenings
One of the most common misconceptions about cancer is that it’s only for the old. Cancer can strike at any age, and an increasing number of 20 somethings are talking about it. They want others to know they got cancer at 22, 25, 26, etc. Sometimes, it’s non-melanoma cancer. A 25-year-old can suffer from deadly cancers just like a 50-year-old. In fact, skin cancer diagnoses are estimated to be eight times as prevalent in young women today. Even one mole could be the beginning. If it’s allowed to grow without treatment, it could kill someone of any age. Once doctors find one mole, you should be more vigilant. Even in your teen years, you can take extra precautions.
Expect to Spend about 15 Minutes with Your Doctor
Dermatologists are trained to detect and treat all three types of skin cancer. Dermatology is one of the most coveted fields in medicine. This means only the highest performers with certain test scores can qualify for residencies. Then they still have to go through a rigorous application process to find a residency. This is followed by extensive training on skin cancer screenings and skin care. Doctors will review things like any personal or family history, sunburns, etc.
Know the ABCs of Skin Cancer Screenings
When doctors look at the skin, they’re looking for signs of change and problems. If you’re familiar with the common signs of problems, you can help your doctor. This could include things like flesh coloured bumps or wounds that won’t heal. Asymmetrical moles or those that change shape, size, or colour can also be cancerous. Doctors will look in areas like the face, lips, ear, neck, chest, buttocks, and arms. Even areas like soles of your feet could hide signs of skin cancer. The ABDEs of skin cancer can help you catch problems early.
You Might Need to Pose for Pictures
Mole mapping is an essential tool in fighting melanoma. Dermatologists will take high-resolution pictures of specific areas to get a closer look at irregular moles. Then they can chart changes over time preventing the need for biopsies in some patients.
Skin Cancer Screenings are Painless
The average patient experiences no pain. Even if doctors have to take biopsies, they can use numbing agents to avoid pain. These don’t typically happen during your initial skin check. Most of the time, doctors will schedule any necessary biopsies later on.
Be Proactive and Protect Your Skin from Cancer
Vigilance is one of your best tools against skin cancer. Check your skin regularly, and make your yearly appointments. No matter your age, you can take other precautions. Things like staying in the shade, especially during the heat of the day can lower your risk. Wearing sunscreen even when it’s cloudy or you’re driving is essential, and don’t forget to reapply. Many people also use products like Revive, Restore & Extend DNA Youth SPAN to keep the skin youthful and smooth.
When skin cancer is caught early, doctors can work with you to make a plan. Many patients need minimal treatment, and regular screenings after that are easy. Dermatologists can monitor the condition of your skin and provide guidance on the best ways to prevent skin problems in the future. You can read all about us at the Skin & Cancer Center in Scottsdale Az.