Skin check for Melanoma

I just found out that my first cousin was diagnosed with Melanoma.  I’m scared that I might get it too, what should I do?

Thank you, S


Dear S,

It is understandable to be a little scared when you learn of someone close to you being diagnosed with cancer.  Malignant Melanoma, is unfortunately, occurring in greater numbers, with the incidence doubling every 10 years.  Therefore, there are more & more of us that are directly or indirectly affected.  Although Melanoma rates are on the rise, most are nowadays detected in the earlier stages, requiring only surgical excision locally.  Ways to minimize your risks include protecting yourself from the harmful effects of the sun, and getting regular full body skin exams with a dermatology clinician.  You can make this appointment at our Renton office.   At your office visit, we usually review good sun protective habits, and what to look for when doing self-skin checks at home.  If there are any moles of concern, we can usually do a simple procedure that day called a skin biopsy. Most areas are well healed within 1-2 weeks, and the results are in within 1 week.  I hope this answers your question, Sara, but please come in to see me for skin exam and I would be more than happy to answer any additional questions you may have!

Suzi Miner, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center - Renton, WA

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