Unfortunately, 1 in 5 Americans will be affected by skin cancer, and more than 3.5 million new cases in 2 million people are diagnosed annually. There are various types of skin cancers that can affect people of all skin colors and types, including actinic keratoses (AK), basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma.
During a skin cancer screening, the doctor is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms.With early detection and proper treatment, the cure rate for skin cancers is extremely high. By performing regular self-skin exams and getting yearly examinations by a dermatologist, you can spot the early signs of skin cancer and reverse the damage before complications arise.
It is important to remember that skin cancer screening tests are paramount even when you have no cancer symptoms.
Anyone and everyone! No matter what type of skin you have, all of us should be getting regular skin cancer screenings to ensure skin is healthy and cancer-free.
In preparation for your skin cancer screening, you should remove all of your make-up as well as any nail polish. Your physician will check you from head-to-toe, and use a tool called a dermatoscope, when necessary, to better visualize your individual lesions.
Skin cancer screenings usually take approximately 10 minutes, but the more moles you have, the longer the exam.
The cost of skin cancer screenings typically corresponds with a doctor’s consultation fee, which ranges from $150-$450.
There are no side effects from getting a skin cancer screening.
If any suspicious lesions are identified, your doctor will likely perform a skin biopsy, whereby the lesion is removed and then submitted to the laboratory to be examined by a dermatopathologist, or may encourage you to have more diagnostic tests done to find out if you have cancer.
It is recommended to undergo skin cancer screenings once a year, and if previously treated for skin cancer, every six months. A person who is an organ-transplant recipient has a higher risk for developing skin cancer and should be screened more often according to a doctor’s recommendation.
You should only visit an actively board certified dermatologist for skin cancer screenings. Dermatologists should be certified by the American Board of Dermatology (ABD), which is a part of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), a non-profit organization that is considered the gold standard of physician certification. Consult the Charlotte’s Book Premier Provider directory to find a doctor who meets these standards and specializes in this treatment. For more information about how we choose our providers, please read Credentials We Abide By.
This is one of the most important reasons to get to know your body well…you are the most qualified person to notice any abnormal changes to your skin. Know your body, know your skin, and perform self-exams as often as possible.
And be sure not to overlook areas like the scalp, between the toes, and the soles of the feet.
It’s important to remove nail polish from fingers and toes before your screening so the doctor can look at the skin under your nails.
Disclaimer: As always, this information is provided to you for educational and/or informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an endorsement of any particular product, treatment, or procedure. This information is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about any procedure or treatment, users should always consult their doctor or other qualified health care professional. Please visit our Terms of Service to view our full disclaimers.