When Should You Get a Skin Screening?
Unfortunately, skin cancer is now the most common cancer in the United States. According to data collected on behalf of the American Academy of Dermatology Association, 20 percent of Americans will develop the disease at some point during their life.
Medical professionals advise that you get a skin screening at least once per year to detect signs of cancer. If your skin type puts you at a higher risk of developing the condition, you may want to receive visual examinations more often. Doctors at Cochise Oncology can advise you on precisely how frequently these should happen.
Sometimes you will notice changes occurring more rapidly on your skin than usual. If you do, you may want to schedule an appointment immediately to ensure that the abnormalities are not cancerous.
How is a Skin Screening Done?
Cochise Oncology skin screening is a full-body exam carried out by a licensed, trusted medical professional. Typically, the procedure only takes about 10 minutes to complete.
Before you attend a skin screening, you’ll need to get changed out of your regular clothing and put on a medical gown. You do not have to remove your underwear unless you have a spot in that region that concerns you.
Once you prepare, we will systematically begin checking your skin from the top of your scalp to your toes’ underside. Often, we will use a special handheld device called a dermascope to allow us to see your skin more clearly. During the procedure, you will notice that we pay particular attention to moles and other blemishes that are most likely to harbor cancerous or precancerous cells. We will also pay particular attention to regions most exposed to sunlight.
If we find anything that looks suspicious, we will arrange for a biopsy. This procedure involves removing a small sample of tissue and sending it off to the laboratory for comprehensive analysis.