Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and can be fatal if left untreated. There are many risk factors involved with developing skin cancer, and, because we don’t entirely know who is more likely than others to get skin cancer, everyone should be screened at one point or another.
Skin cancer screenings are recommended for people before they start exhibiting the symptoms of skin cancer. They are used to test abnormal tissue, moles, and pre-cancerous growths. If you wait until you start experiencing symptoms associated with skin cancer, the cancerous cells may have already started to spread to other parts of your body. After your skin cancer screening, if the results suggest the tissue is abnormal, further diagnostic tests must be performed to verify the state of the skin.
Why is It Important to Detect Skin Cancer in Its Early Stages?
When skin cancer is detected early, before it penetrates below the skin, the likelihood of survival is almost entirely assured. However, the survival rate drops dramatically if you leave the cancer untreated for too long and allow it to spread.
If you are at risk for skin cancer, it would be wise to schedule frequent skin cancer screenings. Some of the increased risk factors include:
- Exposure to coal tar, pitch, creosote, arsenic, or radium
- Having family members that have had skin cancer
- Excessive unprotected exposure to UV light
- Having abnormal moles
- Severe sunburns
- Having fair skin
If you have abnormal patches of skin or atypical moles appearing on your skin, you should see your doctor immediately. Our dermatology team at Memorial Clinic will work together with your doctor to find out whether the skin abnormalities are going to be a problem for you. If the abnormalities are found to be cancerous, our team will help you identify the best treatment options for your individual situation.