Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States. Fortunately, your doctor can treat it if caught early; that is where skin cancer screenings come in. Skin cancer screenings great neck enables your doctor to detect suspicious growths and conduct additional tests to determine whether they’re cancerous. Below are the three types of skin cancer:
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
Basal cell carcinoma is the most prevalent skin cancer that often develops in areas exposed to the sun, such as your neck, face, and shoulders. It occurs in the basal cells due to prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. This cancer usually manifests as a small shiny bump or a scaly patch on your skin, which may crust over or bleed. Although BCC progresses slowly and rarely spreads to other organs, it can spread to nearby tissues if not treated promptly.
Melanoma, the most aggressive skin cancer, occurs in the cells responsible for synthesizing melanin. This cancer can develop in any body part, although it is more prevalent in sun-exposed areas. An early sign of melanoma is a new or a changing mole. This disorder can also manifest as a brown streak under your toenail or fingernail or a dark spot on the iris of your eye. Medical experts recommend examining existing moles for abnormalities and checking for new ones that could indicate cancer.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
This form of cancer can appear as thick, scaly, wart-like patches that may crust over or bleed. The affected part may be tender to touch and form a non-healing sore. SCC is often due to prolonged exposure to UV radiation or harmful chemicals. People with green or blue eyes, light-colored hair, or fair complexion have an elevated risk of developing this cancer as these people often have a weakened immune system. When detected early, chances of successful treatment are high, but if left untreated, it can spread to other body parts, shortening your lifespan.
How often should you go for skin cancer screenings?
The frequency of skin cancer screenings relies on several factors, including a family history of skin cancer, age, and skin type. Medical experts recommend regular screenings for individuals with a high risk of developing skin cancer. Self-examination is also crucial in detecting this disease early. You can check your skin regularly for abnormalities or mole changes that could signify skin cancer.
What to expect during skin cancer screenings
Dr. Azar will examine your skin for abnormal growth during your screening appointment. She may also discuss your family’s medical history, your medical history, and how often you use tanning beds. During the procedure, you will need to change into a hospital robe and gown to allow for easy access. Your provider will use a dermatoscope to get a clear view of the abnormal growths and take a biopsy to determine if they are cancerous.
If you have suspicious skin growths, call Dr. Azar or schedule an appointment online for skin cancer screening.