When was the last time you got a screening for skin cancer? At Prizant Dermatology in Pittsburgh, PA, we believe that prevention is the best approach, especially in the case of any potentially cancerous conditions. We routinely provide skin cancer screenings to our patients in the comfort of our office. If it’s been a while since your last screening, contact us today and schedule your appointment; it’s a process that could save your life.
Who Can Get Skin Cancer?
Many people think of cancer as something that only affects older age groups. The truth is that skin cancer can affect anyone, and all adults 18 years and older should get regular skin cancer screenings. Generally speaking, these screenings are not difficult or time-consuming, but they can often identify potential concerns early, before the problem becomes too difficult to treat.
What Are the Dangers of Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer can be deadly if it begins to spread throughout a patient’s body. In the early stages, skin cancer is highly curable. In stages 0, 1, and 2, a melanoma has a 5-year survival rate of over 98%. If a patient waits until the melanoma reaches stage 4, this rate drops to just 22%. When looked at in this way, it is very easy to see the advantages of early detection and treatment.
How Often to Get Screenings
We advise adults to get annual screenings. If you have a family history of skin cancer, or if you have higher risk factors, it may be a good idea to get screened more frequently. There are so many advantages to preventative medicine, and like mammograms and routine physicals, these checkups can make your life much easier in the case of a serious problem. In addition to maintaining healthy skin, a screening can also provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you have gotten a professional opinion.
What Happens During a Screening?
During the appointment, a qualified professional will check the surface of your skin for any irregularities and ask if you have any specific concerns. Sometimes a patient may observe a recent change of appearance in a new mole or may notice that a particular mole has started to change shape, itch, or bleed. In these cases, we will want to examine the area closely to ensure that it is safe.
On occasion, we may identify an atypical growth as the result of one of your screenings. Moles, melanoma, and non-melanoma skin cancer are all candidates for closer inspection. As these problems can become serious health hazards, they often need to be dealt with quickly, but they can all be surgically removed if they are caught early enough.
If you are concerned about a growth on your skin, it may be time to get a screening. In addition, if you haven’t had skin cancer screenings before, then you should certainly get in touch with Dr. Tracy Prizant and the staff at Prizant Dermatology in Pittsburgh, PA. Contact our office today to schedule your screening. We have a feeling you’ll be thankful you did.