Skin cancer screening is important for everyone. Anyone can get skin cancer, but people with light skin and those with a history of sunburns and sun exposure are more likely to develop it. Skin cancer screening can allow your dermatologist to diagnose and treat skin cancer as soon as possible, which can improve your chances of survival. Here are the four things you can do to maximize your chances of beating skin cancer:
1. Check your own skin at least once a month.
Everyone should perform skin cancer screenings on themselves at least once a month. During these screenings, you should look for any sores that don't seem to be healing, as well as moles that have changed in size or shape. Additionally, you should look for moles that have irregular coloring and those that are larger than a pencil eraser since these can be cancerous.
2. Make an appointment with your dermatologist every year.
Examining your skin on a regular basis is important. However, there is no substitute for professional evaluations. You should make annual appointments with your dermatologist for a professional skin cancer screening. During these screenings, your dermatologist will examine every inch of your skin. Your dermatologist can examine parts of your body that you can't see on your own, such as your back and scalp.
3. Don't wait to schedule biopsies.
If your dermatologist finds a mole, freckle, or lesion on your skin that looks suspicious, they will likely want to perform a biopsy. Biopsies allow dermatologists to take tissue samples for further analysis in a lab. This analysis can confirm or deny a suspected diagnosis of skin cancer. You should avoid putting off biopsies due to fear of the procedure since an immediate diagnosis can guarantee a better outcome. Patients can put their minds at ease with the knowledge that biopsies are performed with the aid of local anesthetic, so they are pain-free experiences.
4. Pursue all the treatments recommended by your dermatologist.
When it comes to cancer treatment, most people want the least invasive treatment possible. However, sometimes more invasive procedures are necessary to completely eradicate cancer. Your dermatologist may suggest more complex procedures, such as Mohs surgery, which can ensure that all cancer is removed from the surface of your skin. Additionally, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and other systemic treatments may be necessary to eradicate metastatic cancer. Following your dermatologist's treatment recommendations can ensure that you have the best chance of surviving skin cancer.
To learn more, go to websites that provide further information regarding skin cancer treatments.