Is it time for your annual skin cancer screening?
These days, everyone is busy and it seems we only get busier with each passing year. Your schedule can’t accommodate everything that you need to do. Some things are postponed, and others are forgotten completely. All too often, diagnostics and preventive care, such as skin cancer screening, falls victim to the time crunch. Why take the time to see a doctor if you aren’t sick? The answer is simple. Skin cancer screening only costs you a few minutes every year – and it could save your life.
What to expect
If no problems are found, your screening will be completed in ten minutes, with no uncomfortable or invasive tests. Moles and other lesions are visually inspected for possible signs of cancer. Be sure to tell your physician if you have noticed any new growths, marks, sores, or other unexpected changes in your skin. If no suspicious lesions are detected, the appointment is over. There is no downtime or interruption to your life, because no procedures were performed.
What if something is detected?
Cancer is not diagnosed during a screening. If a suspicious lesion is identified, we will need to take a biopsy and have it evaluated by a laboratory for the presence of cancer. We will contact you when the results come in. If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, we will discuss your treatment options. There are several techniques for removing cancerous lesions. The best one is chosen according to the size, type, and location of cancer as well as other factors. The prognosis is excellent for successful treatment and full recovery when skin cancer is detected early. The more advanced it is, the more difficult treatment becomes, which is why skin cancer screening can literally be lifesaving.
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Frequency of skin cancer screenings
Everyone should perform a self-check once a month, and have a professional screening once a year, at minimum. If your risk is higher than average, screenings may be scheduled more frequently. Factors that increase your risk include unprotected sun exposure, indoor tanning, a personal history of skin cancer, fair skin, or a family history of skin cancer.
Cancer doesn’t wait. If you are overdue for a screening, call image Dermatology® at (973) 509-6900 to schedule an appointment. Our Montclair office serves communities throughout the area, such as Glen Ridge and Essex Fells.