What is a Skin Cancer Screening?
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and may be screened for through a physical exam or test by your doctor or healthcare provider.
The importance of a skin cancer screening
Skin cancer can occur on almost any area of the body, including areas that aren’t exposed to the sun (soles of your feet, palms of your hands and fingernail beds), and frequently appears as moles, scaly patches, open sores or raised bumps. Skin cancer affects people of all ages, including children and adolescents; when treated early, it can often be cured.
Who is at risk for skin cancer?
People who have a family history of skin cancer, sunburn easily or have freckles, light skin or blue eyes are at greater risk for skin cancer.
You may take preventative measures by using broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) year-round, avoiding tanning beds and sun exposure during the middle of the day as well as wearing sun-protective clothing and sunglasses.
What are the signs and symptoms of skin cancer?
Signs and symptoms of skin cancer include areas on your skin that appear as a:
- Flat, scaly red spot
- New mole
- Brownish spot, darker speckles
- Mole that changes in color, size or feel
- Painful mole, or one that bleeds
- Brown or black raised bump
- Small, smooth, shiny or waxy bump or crusted surface
- Small lesion with an irregular border
- Dark lesion on your palms, soles, fingertips or toes, or on mucous membranes lining your mouth, nose, vagina or anus