Talking About Dermatology

What's It Like To Receive A Skin Cancer Examination?

There are several checkups you should receive throughout the year such as a dental checkup and a checkup from your primary care doctor. However, you should also receive a checkup from a dermatologist. They will screen you for a variety of skin conditions and perform a skin cancer check.

Consulting with Your Dermatologist

Your first meeting with a dermatologist will begin with an interview. You will be asked whether you have any symptoms and about your family history and whether they have a history of skin cancer. Also, if you have had skin cancer in the past, you will need to be screened to make sure that your cancer does not return.

There are several things that can increase your odds of developing skin cancer. For example, if you frequently suffer from sunburns or if you often use a tanning bed, you will be more likely to develop skin cancer. 

Receiving a Skin Cancer Examination

When you receive a skin cancer check, your dermatologist will examine the skin on your body from top to bottom. For example, they will examine the top of your head, the bottom of your feet, and anywhere else in between where you may have evidence of skin cancer.

Because there are some areas of your body that can be difficult to see, such as the top of your head, your dermatologist might be able to find evidence of skin cancer that you otherwise wouldn't be able to see.

However, you will want to bring up any issues with your skin that you might be concerned with. This can be a new growth, a mole, or any other visual change to your skin that is not explained.

Screening Methods Used By Your Dermatologist

A dermatologist might be able to detect skin cancer using advanced methods such as the use of dermatoscope. To determine if a patch of skin is cancerous, your dermatologist will perform a skin biopsy. This involves the removal of tissue from your skin that will then be examined by a pathologist. This process won't be painful because you will be injected with anesthesia.

Receiving a Free Screening

The good news about skin cancer screening is that dermatologists are required to offer free screening through the American Academy of Dermatology. Therefore, you have no reason not to receive a screening so that you can receive treatment as early as possible if skin cancer is discovered.