The Significance of Routine Skin Cancer Exams

The Significance of Routine Skin Cancer Exams

Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States. One in five Americans will likely acquire skin cancer during their lifetimes, and about 9,000 Americans are identified with skin cancer daily. Luckily, most skin cancers are relatively curable if detected early, but the greatest obstacle for clinicians is that skin tumors easily go unnoticed or are simply overlooked. If skin cancer Sanford reaches the advanced stages, it becomes more challenging to treat. Continue reading to learn more about skin cancer and why routine skin cancer screenings are important.

Who Is At Risk Of Skin Cancer?

Everybody can develop skin cancer. Specific skin type does play a role in establishing your relative risk, but exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the greatest risk factor for all skin malignancies. No one is immune, and everyone should know the symptoms and what to watch for.

What Are The Different Types Of Skin Cancer?

Unlike common belief, skin cancer can develop in various types. Here is a summary of the four most prevalent forms of skin cancer:

v Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

SCC could develop once aberrant squamous cells are triggered by DNA damage. This cancer typically develops on body parts subjected to UV radiation, such as the hands and chest. Although physicians can effectively correct numerous SCCs, if not corrected, this cancer could become aggressive, develop into deeper skin layers and extend to other body areas. 

v Melanoma

Once melanocytes proliferate and expand out of control, melanoma occurs. Melanoma is one of the most prevalent forms of skin cancer, but it is often treatable for most patients when detected and treated early. There are four forms of melanoma: nodular melanoma, acral lentiginous melanoma, superficial spreading melanoma, and lentigo maligna.

v Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

Basal cell cancer results from the uncontrolled development of basal cells following UV radiation exposure. BCC is the most prevalent kind of skin cancer; yet, it develops and extends gradually, making it highly treatable if detected early.

v Merkel Cell Cancer (MCC)

Despite their rarity, Merkel cell carcinoma tumors tend to develop quite rapidly. These tumors frequently occur on sun-exposed body parts. With early identification, though, your doctor can successfully treat MCC.

How To Safeguard Yourself Against Uncorrected Skin Changes?

The average adult has 21 square feet of skin to examine. Therefore, self-examinations cannot as effectively protect you from the risks of unseen skin changes. As such, the specialists at Sanford Dermatology suggest regular skin exams. The frequency by which you should arrange your skin cancer checks is dependent on your risk factors. Once you are diagnosed with skin cancer, your doctor can take prompt measures to address your condition or manage your risk factors.

What To Expect During Your Skin Cancer Exam?

A skin cancer screening typically takes under an hour. Your doctor will first discuss any skin changes or moles that concern you and then examine your entire body, including less visible areas such as your scalp, between your toes, and feet.

Your doctor will take photos of the area you are concerned about to help track the progression of suspicious lesions with time. Moreover, your doctor will inspect some lesions with a dermatoscope (specialized live skin microscope) to evaluate if emergency surgery is required.

Skin cancer, though highly curable, can result in severe and sometimes life-threatening complications if not corrected early. Therefore, do not overlook any skin cancer risk factors or warning signs. Instead, consult the expert staff at Sanford Dermatology for professional skin cancer screenings and appropriate therapy if you are diagnosed with the condition. Arrange an appointment through mobile or book online today.

Clare Louise