Skin Cancer Screening: What To Expect

skin cancer screenings

Get That Check-up

Skin cancer screening is where a patient’s skin is inspected to identify if he or she has signs of skin cancer. This inspection is generally recommended for people who have suspicious moles and other such spots, and those who have close relatives that have or have had skin cancer.

Skin cancer screening is generally performed by dermatologists – medical experts who specialize in the identification, treatment, and prevention of skin cancers and diseases.

Why Is Skin Cancer Screening Important?

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the US; as a matter of fact, 1 in every 5 Americans will experience this cancer type at one point in their lifetime. Skin cancer comes in many different forms, including basal cell carcinoma, actinic keratoses, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma amongst others, and affect people of all races and colors. Of all skin cancer types, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are the most common, but the deadliest is melanoma.

When detected early and treated properly, both BCC and SCC can be treated with a 95% cure rate. When detected early too, Melanoma can be treated before it spreads. It is, therefore, advisable that you perform personal skin exams and that have your skin examined by a dermatologist at least once a year to have better chances of identifying skin cancer before it’s too late.

The great thing about skin cancer screening is that no blood work is required; making it a safe and painless process.

What You Need To Know

Cost

Skin cancer screening is generally free; though there are some screening processes and specialists that will require you to pay a fee for more thorough screening. Therefore, if all you want is a simple screening, then consider looking for a free skin screening services provider.

Time

Skin cancer screenings are brief, lasting about 10 minutes – and that includes getting your skin checked and completing the necessary paperwork.

Privacy

Most skin cancer screenings are done in a private setting. As such, you can have a full-body screening performed if you wish. However, if it is a public screening in a public setting with little privacy, then only exposed areas like arms, neck, face and hands will be inspected.

What To Expect When Getting a Full-Body Skin Cancer Screening

Skin cancer screenings are generally the same. At most screenings, you will, first of all, be required to fill out a form in or before going into the examination room. After that, you’ll be required to disrobe and put on a gown before the dermatologist enters the room to examine your skin. If it is a full-body screening, then expect your dermatologist to examine your skin from head-to-toe. The specialist will note his/her finding on a medical form and will give you recommendations on what to do next including getting a biopsy done, if necessary. Once the process is over – normally takes about 10 minutes – some service providers offer patients educational materials that explain to them how to perform personal skin checks at home and how to protect their skin.

When considering having your skin checked for cancer, it is advisable that you take the time to consider the dermatologist or clinic you visit for these services. Therefore, ensure that you have done enough research on all potential options before choosing one for the best results.