Skin Cancer Screening

Skin Cancer Screening

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, accounting for almost half of all cases. Skin cancer screening can help identify early signs of cancer, allowing for early treatment and improving the chances of successful treatment.

Preparation for Skin Cancer Screening

Preparation for skin cancer screening involves cleansing and groomng the area to be inspected and may involve the removal of clothing. During the screening, the doctor may ask questions such as whether the patient has ever been treated for skin cancer and if family members have ever had the disease.

Skin Cancer Screening Procedure

Skin cancer screening usually involves a physical examination of the patient's skin. During the exam, the doctor may remove any suspicious-looking lesions and examine them under a microscope for further analysis. The doctor may also conduct a skin biopsy to take a sample of the tissue for further examination.

Types of Skin Cancer

The two most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Both of these types of skin cancer are treated surgically. Melanoma is the third most common type of skin cancer and is the most aggressive form. Melanoma is treated with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.

Risks of Skin Cancer

Factors that increase the risk of developing skin cancer include fair skin, sun exposure, a family history of the disease, excessive exposure to radiation, and a history of previous skin cancer. Other risk factors for skin cancer include living in an area with high levels of air pollution and having a weakened immune system.

Why Skin Cancer Screening is Important

Early detection is the key to treating skin cancer successfully. Skin cancer screening provides the opportunity to identify cancer in its early stages, when it is most likely to be treatable. Regular skin cancer screening can help detect changes in skin lesions to determine if they are cancerous or benign.

When to Have Skin Cancer Screening

Skin cancer screening is typically recommended for all individuals over the age of 18. People with fair skin, family history of skin cancer, and those living in areas with high levels of air pollution should talk to their doctor about having regular screenings. Regular self-examinations of the skin can also be a helpful way to detect any changes early.