Skin Cancer: What Made You Get Checked Out for Skin Cancer?
We always hear about skin cancer, but some may not be aware of how serious it is. With its many different forms, it is tough to navigate how to check for skin cancer and how often you should check yourself or have a dermatologist check. There are a variety of reasons you may decide to get checked out for skin cancer, but it is important that whatever your reason, an annual skin check should occur. The skilled dermatologists at the Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can provide your annual skin cancer check as well as any other skin cancer-related treatments that may be needed.
Why You Should Get Checked Out for Skin Cancer
Get Checked for Skin Cancer Because of Genetics
You are more susceptible to having skin cancer if it runs in your family. If an immediate family member has a history of skin cancer, you should be having an annual skin check performed in addition to examining your own skin regularly. There are three different types of skin cancer to look for: basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma.
BCC is the most common form of skin cancer and develops in the basal cells on the top layer of skin. It often looks shiny or like a red, irritated patch of skin that won’t heal. It can typically be found on skin that is most exposed to the sun. With early detection, you can prevent damage to surrounding tissue. SCC is also found in the upper layer of skin, but it resembles a crusted patch of skin or a growing bump. SCC can be found in both areas exposed to the sun and areas that never see the sun. Early detection will help stop it from spreading or damaging other tissue. Lastly, melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer because of how quickly it can spread. Melanoma is detected by changing moles. Learning how to examine your skin for changing moles can drastically reduce the risks of skin cancer going unnoticed.
Get Checked for Skin Cancer Because You Notice a Suspicious Mole
If you notice a suspicious mole or a mole that has changed, it is important to visit a dermatologist as soon as possible. When you do a self-examination or have a skin check by a dermatologist, follow the ABCDE method; if any of these describe a mole or lesion, you will want a checkup:
- Asymmetry – if you draw a line through a mole or lesion and the two halves do not match
- Border – if the border of the mole or lesion is uneven or has notched edges
- Color – if the mole has various colors or different shades of brown, tan, or black
- Diameter – if the mole or lesion is the size of a pencil eraser or larger
- Evolving – if the mole or lesion has evolved over time to a different shape, size, or color
Get Checked for Skin Cancer Simply to Be Safe
1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer. Early detection of it is essential in preventing it from spreading. Even if you do not have a family history of skin cancer, you are still susceptible to it. In addition to annual dermatologist visits and self-examinations, you need to protect yourself from UV exposure. Wearing sunscreen, protective clothing, and hats while in direct sunlight can keep you protected.
Our skin cancer dermatologists are here and ready to help, from providing skin exams to skin cancer treatments. If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or the surrounding areas, complete this form to get your annual skin check scheduled. The dermatologists at the Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute are here to help you stay healthy and safe.