How to Spot the Early Signs of Skin Cancer
As a healthcare provider, Imperial Dermatology believes it is our responsibility to look out for the best interests of our patients. Because skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, regular screenings are a must, especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun or have a family history of skin cancer. Dr. Simona Bartos offers comprehensive screenings in Hollywood, FL so that individuals can be proactive about their care.
But what causes skin cancer, and what happens during a skin cancer screening? At Imperial Dermatology in Hollywood, FL, our skilled physicians can address your concerns about early signs of skin cancer. If a suspicious lesion or mole is found, we can also guide you through the biopsy process to determine whether further treatment is needed. Learn more about common skin cancer symptoms by contacting a member of our team for a consultation.
What causes skin cancer?
So, what causes skin cancer? Many people spend their time outdoors during warm summer months, enjoying activities such as tanning. But trying to get the perfect tan through constant sun exposure is not always a healthy choice. Exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun, as well as tanning beds, are both contributing factors to developing skin cancer. This ultraviolet radiation causes damage to skin cells, triggering the cells to multiply and mutate. When you visit with Dr. Bartos, it is important to talk about your history with sun exposure so we can make an accurate assessment.
Early signs of skin cancer
The most lethal form of skin cancer, called melanoma, may develop as a new or within a pre-existing mole. People with moles that exhibit changes in terms of color, size, or border should schedule a skin cancer check with a dermatologist. Any changes that happen quickly over a short period of time are especially concerning and require a skin cancer screening right away.
Patients can look out for any of the following:
- A new growth or spot on the skin
- A change in the size, shape, or color of an existing mole
- Any mole that is asymmetrical or has an uneven border
- Any mole larger than the size of a pencil eraser
Patients should perform a self-examination of their skin on a regular basis. The good news is that skin cancer signs can be seen without an x-ray or special diagnostic procedures. Because you see your skin every day, you may determine what looks normal and which areas may require a follow-up from a dermatologist. When examining the skin, take note of existing moles and freckles so that you can recognize when changes occur.
First, stand in front of the mirror and assess your front and back from head to toe. Some individuals will need to look carefully at their scalp or other places covered by hair to make sure they can view every area. A hand mirror can be used to check the back of your neck and other hard-to-reach places. If you have any questions about how to perform a skin cancer check or how to look for melanoma symptoms, ask one of our professionals in Hollywood, FL.
What happens during a skin cancer screening?
Frequent skin cancer checks at home, in addition to in-office screenings, are a necessary part of your health care routine. Usually, we suggest patients receive an assessment annually or biannually. If there is a personal or family history of skin cancer, we suggest more frequent examinations. When you come in for your initial consultation, we can let you know how often to come in. Again, it is important to seek the appropriate care at the first sign of suspected skin cancer. Do not wait until your next scheduled appointment.
If there is a suspicious spot or mole, we may take a biopsy that will be sent to a pathology lab for analysis. To begin the process, we numb the area and carefully shave off a small sample. Our staff can review the best ways to take care of your skin following the biopsy so the area will heal properly. Once Imperial Dermatology receives the results of your biopsy, we can contact you for the results as well as our recommended next steps.
Schedule a skin cancer check
If you are exhibiting any signs or symptoms of skin cancer, reach out to Imperial Dermatology for an immediate examination. As an expert in skin cancer and melanoma detection, Dr. Simona Bartos can inform you about the process and let you know what to expect in the Hollywood, FL area. We can diagnose and treat any issues while keeping your mind at ease. Schedule your next private consultation by calling a caring member of our team.