Cochise Oncology

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When Should You Start Getting Skin Cancer Screenings?

The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that one in five adults will develop some form of skin cancer. The condition can affect you at any age, although the risk increases as you get older. Skin cancer screening is a quick, non-invasive way to put your mind at ease. Yearly screenings can catch potential problems while still easily treatable. 

What is Skin Cancer? 

The two most common types of skin cancer are basal and squamous cell carcinomas, both nonmelanoma skin cancers. These slow-growing cancers develop when skin cells in different layers of the skin begin to divide abnormally. Over time, they can become a problem if not treated. Melanoma develops from the skin cells that make pigment. This type of skin cancer is a particular cause for concern because it has a higher risk of spreading and can be dangerous. 

Skin Cancer Sierra Vista

When Should You Start Getting Skin Cancer Screenings?

You can start getting skin cancer screenings at any age if you want to be proactive about your skin cancer risk. People with several risk factors should consider starting their yearly screenings fairly early. There is no official age recommendation for skin cancer screenings. However, many providers recommend starting in your 20s to 30s. People of this age are at low risk, but screening will let your provider identify and keep an eye on any worrisome spots. 

People at higher risk for skin cancer should start getting screenings at a younger age. These risk factors include:

  • Fair skin
  • Red or blonde hair
  • Light-colored eyes
  • Skin that burns easily
  • A large number of moles
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • History of frequent sunburns or extensive sun exposure

What to Expect During a Skin Cancer Screening

Unlike many other cancer screenings, checking for skin cancer is non-invasive. You will remove your clothes and put on a gown while your provider checks your skin, including your scalp. While it may feel uncomfortable to have someone examine your skin so closely, the process only takes about 15 minutes. We recommend yearly screenings so we can monitor any changes in your skin as they occur. 


Simply fill out the form on this page to request an appointment and one of our knowledgable team members will reach out to you. Or call our Sierra Vista oncology center to schedule directly at (520) 803-6644.

How is Skin Cancer Treated?

If your provider catches skin cancer early, it can often be removed with simple excision. The lesion and some of the skin are removed, and a pathologist checks to ensure no cancer cells remain. Depending on the size of your skin cancer and whether it has spread, treatment can include radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Skin cancer screening greatly increases the chance of catching your skin cancer while your provider can still easily remove it.


*Individual Results May Vary


At Cochise Oncology, we know optimal cancer treatment places the patient first – and our patients experience this every day. Read what our satisfied patients are saying about their experiences at Cochise Oncology.

Take the Next Step

Do you have questions about skin cancer screenings? Reach out to Cochise Oncology at (520) 803-6644 or fill out the consultation form on this page.

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