About Skin Cancer Screenings
Skin cancer screenings are an important aspect of all skin check-ups. Why? Because according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. In addition, not all moles, lesions, and mysterious spots on the skin are created equal. It is better to be safe than sorry and have a board-certified dermatologist assess the growth to make sure you are out of harm's way. While most moles and other skin growths are benign, sometimes abnormal skin cells can develop into skin cancer. Our board-certified Austin, TX dermatologists here at Snyder Dermatology provide full-body skin exams to screen for skin cancer. The high prevalence of skin cancer makes these routine screenings a must, especially if you have a history of being in the sun or have a personal or family history of skin cancer. Early detection is key to give you more treatment options and a better outcome. At Snyder Dermatology, we offer comprehensive skin cancer screenings and biopsies of irregular areas. Call our office today to schedule your appointment.
Types of Skin Cancer
Our providers here at Snyder Dermatology look for all types of skin cancer during a skin cancer screening, including:
- Actinic Keratoses (AK): This type tends to form after the age of 40 years and on areas of the skin that have been exposed to the sun — such as the head, neck, hands, and forearms. AKs appear as dry, scaly patches and are commonly deemed precancerous because it has the potential to develop into squamous cell carcinoma.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC): This is the most common type of skin cancer. BCC can form anywhere on the body, particularly in previously sunburned areas, and may appear as a pink, white, or skin-colored bump. BCC needs to be treated because it has the potential to grow into the nerves and bones, causing damage and disfigurement.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): This is the second most common form of skin cancer, forming on the skin that gets the most chronic sun exposure. SCC appears as scaly patches, red, firm bumps, and/or sores that heal and reopen. These should be removed to prevent damage and disfigurement. These can also potentially spread internally if left untreated.
- Melanoma: This type of cancer develops suddenly as a dark spot on the skin. Our providers use the ABCDs to detect melanoma — Asymmetry, Border, Color, and Diameter. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, melanoma accounts for only one percent of skin cancer cases but the majority of skin cancer deaths. For this reason, melanoma should be treated as soon as possible after it is diagnosed.
If signs or symptoms are associated with any lesion on your body, make an appointment for further evaluation.
Skin Cancer Screenings Reviews
"I was impressed with Dr. Snyder and her staff. Dr. Snyder was friendly and thorough (I was there for an annual skin cancer screening) and when she discovered an area of concern, she quickly (and painlessly) took a biopsy. I hated to leave Westlake Dermatology when I switched insurance, but I think I will be very happy with this new office."- K.S. / ZocDoc / Jul 15, 2015
Who is at risk?
Men and women of all ages and skin types are at risk for skin cancer. While those with lighter and fairer complexions are generally at greater risk, all skin tones and types can get skin cancer. Our providers at Snyder Dermatology teach patients how to do a self-exam so they will know what to look for and what is normal. Patients should schedule a skin exam anytime there is a concern or worry that an area looks suspicious or if a spot has changed, itches, or bleeds. If you or a close relative have been diagnosed with skin cancer, you should be seen for an annual skin cancer screening.
Skin Cancer Screening
During your skin cancer screening, the doctor will check your body for moles, birthmarks, and any abnormal areas. They may create a "mole map" that shows the size and location of your moles to track them at future screenings. Sometimes, we take photos of certain areas and may even perform a biopsy of a suspicious mole or spot. When a biopsy is recommended, the area will be numbed and sampled. The biopsy will be sent to a pathology lab for analysis. When the doctor receives the pathology report, you will be contacted with the results.
What to Expect
Our providers here at Snyder Dermatology will discuss the best way to care for your skin after a biopsy to ensure your skin heals correctly. With proper care, scarring is limited or will appear flat and eventually fade so that it is not as noticeable. Dr. Snyder and all the providers are passionate about healthy skin and take the time necessary to talk with every patient about what to expect and recommended actions and future assessments. They will advise you when to return for your next skin cancer screening.
Plan Your Procedure
Early Detection is Key
Understanding your risk and early detection are two important keys to the successful treatment of skin cancer. If you are due for a regular skin cancer screening, please contact our office. We are located in Austin, TX. If you are a current patient of Dr. Renee Snyder or our other doctors for other dermatologic or cosmetic concerns, are at high risk for developing skin cancer, or you have concerns about an abnormal growth on your skin, schedule a skin cancer screening today at either our Austin or Round Rock location for more information.