Skin Cancer Screening
The importance of annual screenings for signs of skin cancer cannot be overemphasized. In this visit, the skin is thoroughly examined from head to toe. Anything out of the ordinary is tested for diagnosis. All moles and skin conditions are evaluated, treated and monitored.
What is Skin Cancer Screening?
Cancer screening (also referred to as a “Full Body Exam”) helps doctors find cancer at an early stage, before symptoms appear. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat or cure. By the time symptoms appear, the cancer may have grown and spread. This can make the cancer harder to treat or cure. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends yearly screenings for adults. When you come in for a skin cancer screening at Greenbrae Dermatology, our board-certified dermatologist will give you a comprehensive, thorough examination.
Why are Skin Cancer Screenings necessary?
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with 1 in 5 Americans developing skin cancer in their lifetime. People of all colors and races can get skin cancer. There are many different types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. BCC and SCC are the most common forms of skin cancer, but melanoma is the most serious. With early detection and proper treatment, the cure rate for BCC and SCC is close to 95 percent. When melanoma is detected before it spreads, it also has a high cure rate. Regular self-skin exams and a yearly examination by a dermatologist help people find early skin cancers.
How to prepare for an Annual Skin Cancer Screening
As part of a complete early detection strategy, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you see a dermatologist once a year, or more often if you are at a higher risk of skin cancer, for a full-body, professional skin exam.
To prepare and get the most from your appointment, we suggest the following steps.
- Perform a self-exam and come prepared to mention any new, changing or unusual spots you want to point out to your provider.
- Remove nail polish (from fingers and toes) to help facilitate a thorough examination of fingers, nails and nail beds, since skin cancers can form there.
- Ask Questions. This is your opportunity to get valuable information, from explanations of unfamiliar terms to advice on how to do self-exams.
We treat a full range of skin conditions and offer treatments to address your overall well-being, including cancer screenings – which are recommended annually for adults. To schedule a consultation, contact Greenbrae Dermatology today.