Skin Cancer Screening
Get your yearly skin cancer exam
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Skin cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer if it is detected early enough.
During a skin cancer exam, the physician checks the patient from head to toe looking for skin abnormalities or lesions. In some cases, suspicious areas may appear to be bleeding, scaly, red or dark in color or not healing properly. Be sure to mention any areas that have shown changes.
The lesions are then treated accordingly; either with a biopsy or liquid nitrogen. Oftentimes, if caught early, some lesions may be treated with topical creams. The goal of screenings is to catch changing lesions early to minimize the risk of major surgery.
Check for the ABC’s of skin abnormalities
A stands for Asymmetry
A normal mole or freckle is symmetrical, meaning if you were to cut them in half they would be the same on both sides. With skin cancer, freckles and moles may be different on either side or have different shapes. Although this is not a definite call for skin cancer, if a mole is asymmetrical then the physician will most likely keep an eye on it for changes or ask for a sample to be taken.
B represents Border
A physician may become concerned when moles have blurry and abnormal edges. This can be a sign of precancerous growth and should be monitored closely.
C represents Color
Most moles have one solid color. Any mole with a variety of colors are suspicious and should be monitored. Watch for color changes begin to darken or lighten in random spots.
D stands for Diameter
Most moles are smaller than ¼ an inch. If a mole or mark is larger than a pencil eraser, it should be checked by a physician.
E represents Evolving
If the mole changes in size, color or shape, schedule a skin exam.
Learn more: What to expect during a skin cancer exam
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Our dermatologists are here to help!
With four convenient locations in the Midlands, Columbia Skin Clinic has a commitment to delivering excellent dermatology care.