SCARS Center specialists recommend a skin cancer screening every six to twelve months for the average patient, and more frequently for a patient with a history of skin cancers.
When Should You Schedule a Skin Exam?
A person should see their dermatologist for a screening every 6 to 12 months. Regular screenings in a physician's office should be supplemented with a head to toe monthly skin check in the home. Note any changes, and schedule an appointment right away if you find anything unusual, particularly anything the recurs, bleeds, or is slow to heal.
Remember the A, B, C, D, Es of Skin Cancer
Pay attention to changes in your skin, including on the scalp, under the nails, and on the soles of your feet. Sun damage due to overexposure is not a requirement for skin cancers. Spots or moles that have the following characteristics should prompt you to schedule an appointment right away.
- Asymmetry - one half looks different from the other half
- Boarders - uneven or changing
- Color - changes or variations within the mole
- Diameter - increase in size
- Evolution - change in size, shape, elevation, bleeding, itching, or crusting
Almost all skin cancers can be cured, if they are caught early.
One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their lifetime. It is the most common cancer in the United States. Skin cancer can be easily prevented and cured.
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