Skin health matters. Monitoring your skin regularly means you are more likely to find skin cancers at an early stage when they are easiest to treat. It is recommended that all adults should check their skin at least once in every three months. You have to examine your skin from the scalp to the soles. However, most types of skin cancers remain silent without showing symptoms for years. That’s why you should see a doctor for skin cancer screening exams.
Skin cancer screening is a visual skin examination done by Bowral doctors to find skin abnormalities that could be cancerous or probably turn into one someday. You should get professional skin cancer screening at least once a year. Your doctor would suggest that you have more frequent checks if you are at a high risk of skin cancer. Keep reading to know more about the procedure.
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Before visiting your doctor for skin cancer screening, it is best advised to look over your skin and perform self-examination. Make sure to check every part of your skin, including behind your ears, your scalp, and under the arms. You should also note any abnormalities like moles or growths that are new, itchy, bleeding, or changed over time.
Skin Cancer Screening: What to expect
During skin cancer screening, the doctor will examine your skin from scalp to toes. He will look for any suspicious spots that could be cancerous. There are three main types of skin cancer:
- Squamous cell carcinoma: More likely to spread, but much less common
- Basal cell carcinoma – Slow-growing cancer that rarely spread.
- Melanoma: Rare, but the most aggressive type.
Each type looks different; Basal cell carcinoma is signaled by an irregular spot on the skin, whereas Squamous cell carcinoma starts as an uneven spot or patch of skin, and Melanoma starts with an irregular mole. However, the common warning sign of any type of skin cancer is a change on the skin.
During the skin exam, you will be given a special gown. The Bowral doctors will ask if you have any new moles or an abnormality that concerns you. You should inform him about your findings in the self-exam, as discussed above.
The doctor will then look at every inch of your body from your arms face, chest, back, and legs to less-visible areas like between the toes, scalp, and the soles of your feet.
What if he finds something abnormal?
If your doctor finds an abnormal patch or spot that could be pre-cancerous or cancerous, they will likely perform a skin biopsy.
During the biopsy, the doctor will clean the area of skin where the spot is located, numb the site and, remove some tissues from that area to be examined under a microscope. You shouldn’t feel any pain while collecting the sample.
If the biopsy shows skin cancer, your doctor will discuss the treatment plans. If the results turn negative, you are good to go home. But don’t forget to practice sun-safe habits and to schedule routine checkups for skin care in Bowral to prevent skin cancer from developing in the first place.