Summer May Be Over, But Your Skin Still Needs your Attention
Once the long, warm days of summer come to an end, our collective attention on skin cancer prevention tends to fade away. The fact of the matter is, skin cancer can occur at any time, and on any person. Skin cancer remains one of the leading types of cancer to affect people of all ages. Fortunately, the different types of skin cancer we typically see are usually straightforward and relatively easy to treat. That is, when a cancerous growth is found in an early stage of development.
In the Seattle and Renton offices of Pacific Dermatology, we gladly perform routine skin cancer screenings for patients who want to stay abreast of their dermatologic health.
The Need for Skin Cancer Screening
The official recommendation for skin cancer screenings is that this dermatologic exam is necessary for any individual who has had skin cancer before or who has particular risk factors, such as a family history of melanoma or numerous moles and growths on the skin. The thing is, everyone is at risk for skin cancer. Whether you fit into a specific group of characteristics or not, you can benefit from a professional exam that observes the entirety of your body. According to research, skin cancer-related deaths could decrease up to 63% thanks to professional and routine self-exams.
What happens during a skin cancer full body exam?
The idea of a full-body exam may feel slightly uncomfortable. It helps to know what to expect.
- A typical skin cancer screening takes no more than a few minutes.
- Before the exam, the patient is given a gown and asked to disrobe.
- A skin cancer exam can include the genital area, where melanoma can develop, but doesn’t have to. This can be discussed between doctor and patient.
- The majority of the skin cancer screening involves visual observation with the naked eye. A handheld microscopic device is used to obtain a magnified view of moles and growths that appear even slightly suspicious.
- If a mole or growth has any of the characteristics of a cancerous growth, such as irregular borders or multiple colors, a biopsy may be taken or ordered. Tissue tests are discussed prior to any action and agreed upon by doctor and patient.
We are here to serve our patients’ medical and cosmetic dermatologic needs. To schedule your skin cancer screening, call 206-859-5777.