Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in the United States—more common than lung, breast, and colorectal cancers—but most people don’t get regular skin exams.
What to Watch Out For
Signs and symptoms of skin cancer can progress over a period of weeks, months, or years. Look for a change in the size, shape, color, or thickness of a skin blemish or mole. Symptoms such as itching, burning, and especially bleeding can indicate a problem. If you notice any of these warning signs, schedule a skin evaluation right away.
The earlier you find a skin cancer, the easier it is to treat successfully. Both skin self-examinations and professional skin exams are useful in early detection of skin cancers, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
What to Expect During Your Exam
Using advanced photographic digital mapping technology, we can find, evaluate, and track changes in your skin. A skin cancer screening is a visual inspection of the skin from head-to-toe. During this complete skin checkup, expect a review of your medical history and a thorough skin examination. Every square inch of the body is examined for any suspicious growths. Skin cancer can develop anywhere you have skin—between toes, behind the ears, on the scalp, on the buttocks, groin, or genitalia.
This is also a good time to ask about any spots you are worried about. We can educate you about what to look for, such as any changes in the size, color, borders, or shape of a mole. A full body examination is recommended every 3 to 12 months, depending on your skin cancer history and risk factors. During annual full body examinations and follow-ups, we are able to compare findings from past examinations to make sure the lesions and moles have not changed. Early detection is key to the most effective treatment and outcome.
Skin Cancer Treatment
If a cancerous mark is found, we can surgically remove the lesion using specialized techniques that minimize scarring and preserve your health and appearance.
Depending on the size, type and location of the lesion, there are many ways to remove skin cancer when necessary. Plastic surgeons are better skilled to handle this, especially on the face, because we specialize in reconstructing skin tissue. We will answer any questions and go over all the options with you.
Early detection is very important, so don’t hold off on getting evaluated. Check with your insurance company as most policies will pay for a skin check whether it’s done by an oncology surgeon, dermatological surgeon, or plastic surgeon.
Plastic surgeons are experienced in recognizing the subtle signs and symptoms of skin cancer, as well as providing the most aesthetically-pleasing surgical result upon skin cancer removal.
Schedule your skin cancer screening and consultation with Aesthetica today by calling by (703) 729-5553.