Melanoma is a dangerous type of skin cancer. Unfortunately, the number of people affected by melanoma increases year by year. In the U.S, that are more than 2 million people who are diagnosed with melanoma every year.
So how do doctors diagnose melanoma or other types of skin cancer? Doctors practice a skin screening, where they can look through your skin and recognize the signs of skin cancer. Regular skin exams can help you see early signs and allow you to treat them earlier. Early treatments have a very high chance to cure the cancer, in comparison to late stage treatments, which have a less powerful and successful effect.
Who should take a skin exam?
The answer is everyone and anyone. Skin cancer can affect people of any skin tone, age, gender or race. This is why we should all receive regular skin exams. It is especially important to make an appointment with your doctor after summer vacation. During summer we are more exposed to the sun and have a higher chance of developing melanoma.
How long do skin exams last?
Skin cancer screenings usually last 10 minutes. In a few cases, it could take longer depending on the number of moles you have. It is not a painful exam, so you have no reason to avoid it.
What are the results of a skin screening?
Your doctor will study the results of the test and look into any suspicious marks on your skin. If they recognize signs of skin cancer they will suggest you take some more tests to ensure the diagnosis and then will discuss treatment options if needed.
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