Skin cancer refers to any type of cancer that begins in your skin, but can spread to nearby tissues and organs. It's important to know the facts about skin cancer and get a yearly skin cancer check from your dermatologist. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation:
1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
More than 2 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour.
Having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma.
When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99 percent.
Indoor tanning increases your risk of developing skin cancer by 75% before the age of 35.
Beaird Dermatology Annual Skin Check
Dermatologists are specially trained in detecting skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the U.S. While skin cancer is very serious, most skin cancers are highly treatable when caught early.
All adults should schedule a full-body skin exam to establish a baseline and to discuss how often skin checks are necessary, especially those who have: a history of melanoma, a family history of melanoma, significant sunburns or regular sun exposure or is an organ transplant recipient. Ahead of the appointment, make note of any spots on your skin that you’re concerned about, and be sure to bring them up before your doctor gets started.
Prior to the exam, remove any makeup, jewelry, bandages, braces or anything that might be covering your skin. For the exam, you’ll be asked to remove all of your clothing and put on a gown.
Your appointment will involve a thorough examination of your skin — from the top of your scalp to the bottoms of your feet — by your dermatologist. They will look for suspicious spots that could be cancerous. With a trained eye, your skin care provider will examine you for basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and/or melanoma. While they each look different, the most common warning sign of any kind of skin cancer is a change of the skin, such as a new growth or a visible change in an existing growth or mole. If your doctor doesn’t find anything suspicious, the exam shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.