Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. But it is also one of the most treatable if diagnosed early.
“The reason self-exams and annual exams by a trained skin doctor are so important is that finding and treating cancer early may help prevent the disease from spreading to other parts of the body,” says Richard Price M.D., of Price Skin Care Clinic in Ridgeland, MS. “That’s why a regular exam routine is your greatest ally in the prevention of skin cancer.”
If you’re wondering what a skin cancer screening is, don’t worry – it’s not complicated. Professional screenings are performed in a physician’s office. The doctor checks the skin for markers of skin cancer that might be found on moles, birthmarks or other areas that are unusual in color, size, shape or texture.
Here are three reasons why you should have a skin cancer screening now.
Reason #1: After a Long Hot Summer, You Need to Be Checked for New Spots
If you’re like millions of Americans who spent time outdoors this summer, you may have damaged your skin by overexposing it to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.
Now that cool autumn weather has replaced hot summer days, it’s a great time to make an appointment with a skin doctor and have your annual skin screening to make sure your skin is healthy with no signs of disease or cancer.
In fact, a new medical study has reported that new spots on your skin put you at higher risk for skin cancer than existing spots. In this study, published by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, researchers found that less than one-third of melanomas originated from an existing mole, whereas the majority presented as new spots on the skin.
This drives home the fact that you need to have your skin checked every year – and because we often get the most exposure to the sun during the summer, scheduling your skin screening in the fall is the perfect time to check for new spots.
Reason #2: If You Have Never Been Screened by a Physician or Haven’t Been Screened Within the Past Year, It’s Time
While it’s advisable to perform monthly skin self-exams, you should still have an annual exam by a physician.
Physicians trained in skin care know how to examine the skin for tell-tale signs of skin cancer in its early stages. Even if you do monthly skin self-exams, a trained physician is likely to catch what you might miss.
Reason #3: A Skin Cancer Screening Can Save Your Life
Every year, more than 3.3 million people in the U.S. are treated for basal cell and squamous cell cancers. Fortunately, these cancers rarely spread to other parts of the body and are usually curable with treatment.
However, most skin cancer deaths are caused by melanoma – with some 10,000 Americans dying every year from the disease.
While there are treatments for skin cancer – including melanoma – nothing beats
early detection. Which is why a skin cancer screening can literally save your life.
And don’t forget that the best thing you can do for yourself in addition to scheduling an annual skin cancer screening is prevention. Always wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, wear protective clothing and stay out of the sun between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
To schedule your screening, call Price Skin Care Clinic at: (601) 992-3996.