What is Skin Cancer?
Whether you are someone who enjoyed lounging in the sun during their younger years or skin cancer runs in your family, there are many reasons why you should get an annual skin cancer screening. After all, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, with about one in five people developing skin cancer during their lifetime.
Skin cancer can take on many different forms such as:
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
- Actinic keratoses (AK)
While squamous and basal cell carcinomas are the most common forms of skin cancer, melanoma is the most dangerous type. This is why it’s imperative that everyone gets regular skin cancer screenings from our dermatologists. This ensures that if skin cancer is present that it’s detected right away so treatment can begin as soon as possible. Besides performing self-exams on your entire body once a month you should visit Anderson Skin and Cancer Clinic once a year so that our dermatologists can provide a thorough screening.
Screenings are completely non-invasive, painless and only take a few minutes to complete. The screening will encompass your entire body from your face and scalp to your torso, legs and feet. We will thoroughly inspect every area of skin (even between your toes) to look for suspicious growths or moles.
Everyone should undergo a skin cancer screening even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms. It’s particularly important that you come in for routine screenings if you have any risk factors for skin cancer:
- Excessive sun exposure
- Past sunburns
- The use of tanning beds
- Not wearing sunscreen regularly
- Fair skin
- Having many moles
- Exposure to radiation
- Family history of skin cancer
- A weakened immune system
If you have any of these risk factors it’s important that you not only share them with your dermatologist during your next visit but that you also find out how often you should be coming in for routine screenings, as patients with risk factors may need to come in more regularly. Of course, if you are noticing any new moles or changes in preexisting moles you should also schedule a screening with us right away.
Do you think you may have skin cancer?
Call Anderson Skin & Cancer Clinic in Anderson and Seneca, SC to book an appointment!