Is it time for a skin cancer screening with your dermatologist near Kensington?
Life does not seem to slow down for anyone these days. Most of us have more to do than our schedule will seem to allow. As a result, we may put some things off, or completely forget about something important we need to do. What tends to happen is we put off those things that can be vital to our health and wellbeing, such as preventive medical care or skin cancer screening. In our office near Kensington, screenings take only a few minutes, once a year. In this short time frame, a life may be saved.
What to expect from skin cancer screening
Skin cancer screenings are non-invasive and take only ten to fifteen minutes when no suspicious markings are identified. A skin cancer screening is essentially the visual inspection of skin on all parts of the body, even between the fingers and the toes. We are also encouraged to perform monthly self-examinations so that we are familiar with our own skin.
What if an abnormality is detected?
During a skin cancer screening, we only identify suspicious markings, not actual skin cancer. In order to diagnose skin cancer, we must take a small sample of skin cells. We do this with a biopsy. Sample cells are sent to a laboratory for specific examination. When results from laboratory testing are returned to our office, we will call or schedule a follow up visit to discuss the findings.
If skin cancer is confirmed, we will design treatment based on several factors, such as where the cancerous lesion is located and the stage in which cancer has been detected. There are several treatment options from which to choose, including cryosurgery, or freezing, standard excision, topical chemotherapy, and more.
When skin cancer is detected early, the prognosis for a successful outcome is excellent. The more advanced skin cancer becomes, the more challenging it is to achieve the best results from any treatment option. It is for this reason that skin cancer screenings are so important.
How often should skin be checked?
Detecting potential skin cancer is easiest when we are familiar with our own skin. Self-examinations should be performed on a monthly basis, and accentuated with yearly professional screenings. Individuals who are more susceptible to skin cancer should see their dermatologist more frequently. There are several factors that may increase the risk of skin cancer, including the use of tanning beds, previous skin cancers, skin cancer in the family history of skin cancer, fair skin, or unprotected UV exposure.
Cancer is not concerned with your busy schedule. Don’t wait to schedule your skin cancer screening. Call our Rockville or Frederick office today.Back to Skin Cancer Page