Getting screened for skin cancer is now more important than ever. Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US, with 3.5 million new cases being diagnosed every year; 80% of these skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas, 16% are squamous cell carcinomas and 4% are melanomas. 1 in every 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. And with Scottsdale, Arizona’s 360 days of sunshine per year, Arizona ranks #2 (behind Australia) for the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world. Therefore, it is important to have a full body skin examination performed by a trained dermatologist every year to screen for skin cancers.
Dermatologists have specialized training that includes the diagnosis and management of skin cancers. When you see a board certified dermatologist for a complete skin check-up, expect a 10-15-minute visit, including a review of your medical history and a head-to-toe skin examination. And virtually any notable change in a mole should be checked out. Typically, a spot that the doctor suspects is cancerous will be biopsied. During a biopsy, a sliver of tissue is removed for evaluation by a pathologist, who confirms (or refutes) the dermatologist’s suspicions.
This is a good time to ask about any spots you are worried about and discuss them. Your dermatologist at Spectrum Dermatology can educate you about what to look for, such as any changes in the size, color, borders, or shape of a mole. If you have a history of skin cancer or numerous moles, it is important to see us for regular skin examinations at intervals ranging from three months to annually.
There are ways to help identify possible skin cancer before it is too late. One such way is by knowing your A, B, C, D, E signs of melanoma and if you see any of these when evaluating your moles. If you do spot one of these signs, it is important to see a dermatologist immediately.
Moles, brown spots and growths on the skin are usually harmless, but not always. It is also important to note that anyone who has greater than 100 moles is at a greater risk of Melanoma.
Spectrum Dermatology provides expertise, knowledge, and passion to medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology. Our experience and reputation make Spectrum Dermatology one of the most sought-after dermatologists in the Scottsdale and Phoenix area. If you’re in need of a yearly skin exam or treatment for skin cancer, please do schedule a skin cancer screening today – (480) 948-8400.