At a general skin cancer screening, you meet with your doctor for a thorough interview to discuss any symptoms or new growths on your skin. Your doctor will also review your medical history and your family’s medical history. Afterwards, an examination will be performed to allow Dr. Raoof to visually inspect your skin for suspicious growths. The entire procedure takes only about 10 to 15 minutes.
Skin cancer screenings are not a requirement. However, they are recommended if you have new or suspicious moles or other marks on your skin. You should also receive regular screening if you have a history of skin cancer, or are at increased risk of developing the disease.
If Dr. Raoof notes any suspicious growths on your skin, he will conduct further testing and take a biopsy to determine if it is cancer. There are three different types of skin cancer.
The most common type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma which arises from abnormal cells growing on the lowest layer of the epidermis.
Abnormal cell growth in the middle layer of the epidermis may develop into squamous cell carcinoma—the early stage is referred to as actinic keratosis.
The least common, yet most life-threatening type of skin cancer is melanoma.
Early diagnosis of skin cancer is imperative to adequate treatment. If you have a history of this condition or have a close family member who has had skin cancer, you should be screened regularly. Those who have frequent sun exposure or regular indoor tanning should also be screened.
If your test results come back showing cancerous cells, your doctor will sit down with you and discuss your treatment options. The treatment approach selected by your doctor will depend on the type of cancer found. Small growths may be surgically excised from the skin or killed with low-dose radiation. If cancerous cells begin to spread to other organs, chemotherapy and radiation are used.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!