One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Skin screenings can detect melanoma and other skin cancers early, when they’re easiest to treat.
There are three main types of skin cancer, which include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma. All three types can be detected through a skin cancer screening.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are the most common forms of skin cancer and together they are known as nonmelanoma skin cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, with early detection and proper treatment, the cure rate for both is about 95 percent.
Melanoma is less common, but it is more aggressive and has a higher mortality rate. Since it is the most serious type of skin cancer, it is also recommended that patients perform self-exams. When performing a self-exam for irregular moles that may be an indication of melanoma, look for the “ABCDEs”. If melanoma is detected before it spreads, it also has a high cure rate.
If you’re at increased risk for skin cancer, you may need an annual skin cancer screening exam. You may be at increased risk if you have:
- Red or blond hair, fair skin, freckles and blue or light-colored eyes
- More than 50 moles
- History of frequent or intense sun exposure
- One or more blistering sunburns
- Family history of melanoma
- Personal history of basal cell and/or squamous cell skin cancers
Annual skin checks are noninvasive and involve a trained physician who specializes in skin disease looking you over scalp to toes. Primary care physicians do offer skin cancer screenings, but dermatologists have more specialized training in skin health that includes the diagnosis and management of skin cancers.
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Monique S. Cohn recognizes the importance of annual skin cancer screenings for early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of this potentially devastating disease. Dr. Cohn provides both regular skin cancer screenings and full body exams in her Twinsburg Ohio office. If you notice an irregular mole or spot, schedule an appointment online at Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Center or by calling 330-425-7600.