Ever Wonder HOW Skin Cancer Full Body Exam Is Carried Out?
The screening usually takes 10 minutes, or longer if the doctor sees any moles that look unusual. You’ll replace all personal clothing items with a medical exam gown. Your doctor will ask if you have any moles that concern you.
Then, she (or he) will then look at every square feet area of your body — from your face, chest, arms, back, and legs to less-visible places like your scalp, between your toes, and the soles of your feet.
What Exactly Is Your Doctor Watching For?
During a skin cancer screening, your doctor is checking for the “elementary characteristics” of each mole, which are all possible signs of skin cancer. It has the acronym “ABCDE” representing:
- Asymmetry: Not the same shape on both sides
- Border irregularity: Ragged or blurred edges
- Color: Different shades of tan, brown, or black
- Diameter: Larger than 1/4 inch
- Evolving: Changes over time
Your doctor will also check for actinic keratosis which are typically any skin changes caused by sun damage that, without treatment, can turn into cancer.
Yes! Too frequent and lengthy solar radiation exposures is a prime causative skin cancer agent……..
WHEN Should You Get Skin Cancer Exam?
Like in all fields, experts disagree on something and this question has got it’s variant feedbacks. Some medical groups say you should only go for screening if you have suspicious moles or you have a high chance of getting melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.
Others recommend a yearly screening for people who are at high risk for skin cancer. But, few things make you more likely to get it:
- Change in hair color, light eye color, and skin that freckles or sunburns easily
- People in your family have had melanoma
- You’ve had unusual moles in the past
- You’ve had sunburns before, especially any that blistered
- You’ve used tanning beds
- You have more than 50 moles or any that look irregular
- You’ve had an organ transplant
Here’s what they agree on: Your dermatologist will want to see you twice a year if you’ve ever had basal or squamous cell cancer. After a melanoma diagnosis, you’ll likely see your dermatologist every quarter for the first year and then biannually after that.