Great Skin Isn't Dependent Only on Genetics

Do You Need A Skin Cancer Examination?

The sooner skin cancer is detected, the better off treatment can be for you. If you spend any time out in the sun at all, you can be prone to skin cancer. Being of a certain ethnicity or race can also affect your likelihood of getting skin cancer, as can lifestyle choices or other factors, including genetics.

The only way to know if you have a skin cancer growth or to learn what kind of skin cancer you have is to see your dermatologist. Your dermatologist will do a skin cancer examination to see if they believe you have skin cancer and if so, how progressed it is or what type it is. Here are signs you need to have a skin cancer examination.

You have a strange patch of skin on your body

Any strange patch of skin on your body, whether it looks like a mole or just a dry patch, should be examined by your dermatologist. A bleeding or itching skin area should be an area of concern and warrants a skin cancer check as well. Your dermatologist will do a physical and visual exam of your skin first, then do a biopsy of any skin areas that they deem questionable. When your biopsy results come back from a lab, your dermatologist will then determine what the next mode of action is, if any.

You have a changing mole or freckle

A mole can be small and flat, or large and round. It can be of various colors and can even look like a freckle. Any type of mole that changes in appearance, size, texture, or any other way should be immediately looked at by your dermatologist as part of a skin cancer examination. Your dermatologist may ask you to take pictures of your mole as it changes or they may wish to have you come in for various checkups to see if your mole is getting larger or remaining the same.

If your dermatologist believes you have any kind of skin cancer, they may recommend removing an entire mole or affected area or doing a biopsy if they are unsure. You may need to go through a type of chemo or radiation for skin cancer, but this depends on how long your condition has been in place, where you have skin cancer, and how severe the condition is. Many skin cancers can be treated if they are caught early, so keep this in mind as you plan your next skin cancer check with your doctor.   

For more information, contact a local clinic like Advanced Dermatology of Northern California.