Skin cancer screening is the process of detecting pre-cancerous or cancerous skin growths. An annual full body skin cancer screening is recommended for all fair-skinned adults, as well as many other patients depending on risk factors. If you suspect an abnormal mole or growth, contact Liu Dermatology for your screening.
The most common form of cancer in the United States, skin cancer has grown to epidemic proportions, with more than 4 million adults treated for skin cancer each year [source: CDC Skin Cancer Statistics]. Because of this, a thorough head-to-toe skin cancer screening performed by a board-certified dermatologist is recommended annually. If you find any of the following, you should make an appointment to see Dr. Liu:
If any of these growths concern Dr. Liu, further diagnostic tests may be performed.
With skin cancer affecting one in five Americans and over four million new cases diagnosed every year, skin cancer is on the upswing and routine screenings by a board-certified dermatologist are one of the best ways to catch this cancer early. However, with early detection and appropriate treatment, the cure rates for common cancers like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are around 95 percent. A more serious form of skin cancer, melanoma, also has a high cure rate when it is detected and treated before it spreads. Because melanoma can spread quickly and become deadly, it needs to be found early and treated in a timely manner.
Dr. Liu will perform a full body skin exam by looking at your skin from head to toe with a special tool called a dermatoscope, which allows for visualization of the subtle features within the skin lesions. She will take note of any new or changing moles or growths, and treat them as needed. Tell Dr. Liu about any changes you have noticed, as you know your skin better than anyone. If you have noted any rough areas, itching, bleeding or changing moles, please be sure to point these out.
Dr. Liu dedicates up to 30 minutes for skin cancer screenings as adequate time is important for a thorough head to toe exam. At this appointment, you will also have ample time to get all your other questions answered. Also, if any spots need to be removed, this can usually be done same-day.
Nothing special is required, however, here are some tips to facilitate your experience. Please dress in comfortable clothing that you can take off and put back on easily. Do not wear makeup to your appointment, or be prepared to remove any makeup. It’s also advisable to remove all nail polish from fingernails and toenails, as skin cancers can form in nails and nail beds.
If an abnormal growth is found during your exam, a skin biopsy may be done. This involves Dr. Liu removing a small sample of skin to send to a lab for examination under a microscope by a pathologist. This is a quick in-office procedure that is done with local anesthesia, usually at the same appointment as the skin cancer screening. Further treatment, if needed, will depend on the pathology results.