While a diagnosis of skin cancer may be scary, the benefit of catching it earlier is successful treatment and cancer-free skin. Skin cancer is one of few cancers that can be spotted physically in the early stages. This is often done during a skin cancer screening.
Why are skin cancer screenings important?
Our skin is exposed to the elements and the environment. It is the largest organ on the body, and needs to be taken care of to ensure it is healthy and free from cancer. The American Cancer Society encourages all adult men and women to undergo annual skin cancer screenings with a trained and experienced dermatologist once a year. At Harris Dermatology, we also encourage patients to come in if they have a skin growth or concern that may be indicative of cancerous cells. Routine screenings are important to catch areas where skin cancer may be developing before it spreads or becomes more dangerous.
What does a doctor look for during a skin cancer screening?
The doctors of Harris Dermatology will evaluate the skin to look for certain concerns, including:
- Sores that do not heal quickly or bleed
- Rough or scaly patches on the skin that crust or bleed
- Wart-like growths
- New or changing growth or bumps on the skin
- A mole that is changing size, shape, color, or overall appearance
Anything suspicious spotted on the skin may be biopsied. This requires the removal of a small portion of the growth that is sent to a laboratory for further evaluation. If skin cancer cells are spotted, the dermatologist will notify the patient and work with them to determine the best course of action in treatment.
Speak to the team at Harris Dermatology today to discuss the need for skin cancer screenings
Prevention is key to addressing skin cancer early enough for successful treatment. If you are late for your annual skin cancer screening, or have never had one in the past, we welcome you to schedule an appointment at Harris Dermatology for a full evaluate with any one of our three dermatologists at our two convenient locations. Fort Myers and Naples, FL area patients can obtain care with our team and achieve beauty, beautiful, cancer-free skin!