An often overlooked but highly critical part of healthcare is skin cancer screenings. There are many circumstances in which it is essential to have this preventative evaluation performed. Skin cancer, when detected early, is much easier to treat. Read on to learn more about getting a skin cancer screening in Philadelphia.
Signs You Need a Skin Cancer Screening
Unlike other types of cancer, there is not a recommended age to begin skin cancer screenings. Instead, certain risk factors will determine when it is time to begin screening. If you are considered “at-risk,” then it is highly recommended you visit our dermatologist in Horsham, PA for a skin cancer screening.
Those who may be at higher risk include individuals who have any of the following characteristics:
- Skin that easily burns or freckles
- History of tanning bed use
- History of sunburns
- Large number of moles
- Occupation or activities requiring extensive time outdoors
- Fair skin
- Blue or green eyes
- Red or blonde hair
- A family or personal history of skin cancer
Performing a Self-Exam
In addition to seeing a dermatologist, you should also perform self-exams in between screenings. This involves a thorough look over your entire body, assessing for the ABCDEs of skin cancer. Any spot that displays Asymmetry, irregular Borders, different Colors (black, red, pink, blue, purple), a large Diameter, and/or has Evolved quickly should be evaluated by a dermatologist.
You will need a well-lit room, a large mirror, and a hand mirror. While you examine yourself in the large mirror, the hand mirror allows you to visualize the hard-to-see spots, such as behind your legs. Again, if you notice anything irregular, it is essential to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist as soon as possible.
A Dermatologist’s Exam
Very similar to your own exam, your dermatologist will visually inspect your entire body, looking for anything suspicious. With their years of experience and knowledge, they will identify any problematic spots. The doctor will be thorough in their evaluation, looking for anything that could threaten your health and well-being.
The Next Steps
If the dermatologist finds something concerning, they may recommend a biopsy. This is a simple procedure in which a small sample of skin is taken to be evaluated by a pathologist for signs of cancer.
While the samples are small and may seemingly remove an entire spot, it is important to note that skin cancer often extends beyond what can be visibly seen. Therefore, identifying a cancerous spot is essential to determining the appropriate treatment and overall prognosis.
For All Your Skincare Needs, Turn to the Best Team of Dermatologists
Here at Embrace Dermatology, we take our patient’s health very seriously. No matter your concern, we will ensure thorough care from diagnosis to treatment to future monitoring. Make an appointment today for excellent comprehensive skin care.