What is a Skin Cancer Screening?
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. The high prevalence of skin cancer means routine screenings are a must, especially when you have a personal or family history of skin cancer. Women and men of all ages are at risk for skin cancer. While those with lighter complexions are at higher risk, all skin tones and types can get skin cancer. Early detection is key to provide you more treatment options and improved results. In addition to many innovative skin cancer procedures, our dermatologists offer complete skin cancer screenings and biopsies of abnormal growths at their Dallas, TX dermatology center. To schedule a skin cancer screening, contact Dermatology Center of Dallas today.
Types of Skin Cancer
Our team searches for four kinds of skin cancer during a skin cancer screening:
- Actinic Keratoses (AK): This type will typically form after the age of 40 years and around regions of the skin that have been exposed to sunlight, such as the head, throat, hands, and forearms.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC): This is the most common kind of cancer and can develop anywhere in the body and may look like a pink area or as a flesh-colored or pearl-like bulge.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): This is the second most common kind of skin cancer. Forming on skin that gets the most UV exposure, SCC looks like scaly patches; red, firm lumps; and/or sores that heal and reopen.
- Melanoma: This kind of cancer develops suddenly as a dark area in the skin. We use the ABCDs to detect melanoma — Asymmetry, Border, Color, and Diameter. While melanoma accounts for only 1% of skin cancer, it causes the majority of skin cancer deaths.
All of these need to be treated properly as they can result in further damage and deformities.
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What are the Benefits of a Skin Cancer Screening?
Even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms, routine skin cancer screenings are important because they can detect skin cancer early, when it's most treatable. A comprehensive examination conducted by one of our dermatologists gives patients peace of mind and allows for early diagnosis if abnormalities are found. We can also help you stay up-to-date on the latest skin cancer prevention methods, such as sun protection and melanoma awareness. With regular screenings and early intervention, the Dermatology Center of Dallas can help reduce your risk of developing serious skin conditions that could be life-threatening.
What To Expect From Your Skin Cancer Screening
Our team recommends every patient do regular self-checks of their skin so that they know what is there and when a spot changes. You should schedule a skin exam anytime you are concerned that a spot on your skin has changed, itches, or bleeds, or yearly if you or a close relative have been diagnosed with skin cancer. At your skin exam, we will check your entire body for moles, birthmarks, and any abnormal areas. We may produce a mole map of spots to indicate regions of concern and to better identify new moles at future screenings. Following your examination, our team will speak with you about your skin and any recommended actions. We will also let you know when you need to come back for your next skin cancer screening.
Sometimes, we might perform a biopsy of a suspicious spot by numbing the skin, then shaving a little sample. The sample will be mailed to a pathology laboratory for analysis. When we receive your pathology report, you'll be contacted to hear the results. One of our dermatologists will go over the best way to care for your skin following the biopsy that will help your skin heal properly. With good care, the incision should fade so it is barely visible.
Early Detection is the Key
Understanding your risk factors for cancer and early detection are two major keys to the successful treatment of skin cancer. Whether you are already visiting us for other treatments, are at high risk for getting skin cancer, are due for your yearly skin check, or you have questions about an abnormal growth on your skin, schedule a skin cancer screening at Dermatology Center of Dallas in Dallas, TX.