When detected early, the five-year survival rate for even the most aggressive skin cancers is about 99%. The board-certified dermatologists at Redwood Empire Dermatology in Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, and Oakmont, California, perform head-to-toe skin cancer screenings to identify early signs of the disease. The team recommends annual skin cancer screenings to help keep your skin healthy as you age. To learn more about skin cancer screenings, call Redwood Empire Dermatology or schedule an appointment online today.
A skin cancer screening is a comprehensive exam that aims to detect skin cancer in its early stages. Skin cancer — a disease that develops when abnormal skin cells multiply quickly — is highly treatable before it metastasizes (spreads) to other areas of the body.
During a skin cancer screening, your Redwood Empire Dermatology dermatologist examines every part of your body for abnormal lesions, moles, and other marks.
A skin cancer screening is a head-to-toe exam. First, your dermatologist performs a visual inspection. They look for abnormal-looking moles, growths, sores, and discolored patches of skin. Your dermatologist uses a dermatoscope, a special type of magnifying glass, to carefully inspect every inch of your skin.
They examine your scalp, soles of your feet, between your toes, and underneath your nails. During a skin check we will give you the option to examine areas underneath bras, panties and underwear but it is not required. Skin cancer screenings typically take no longer than 10 minutes, but they can take longer if you’ve had skin cancer before or have many moles.
If your dermatologist identifies an abnormal lesion, they may take a biopsy. Some lesions are small enough that your dermatologist may remove them at your visit. After the biopsy, your dermatologist examines the skin underneath a microscope or sends it to a lab to diagnose or rule out skin cancer.
What happens next depends on the results of your screening. Most types of skin cancer are removable through surgical excision. The dermatologists at Redwood Empire Dermatology specialize in Mohs surgery, which involves carefully removing the lesion layer by layer.
Mohs surgery is an effective treatment for non-melanoma skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), but can also treat some forms of melanoma.
The three most common types of skin cancer are:
BCC is the most prevalent type of skin cancer that often appears as a scaly patch of skin or a firm, red bump. BCCs are slow-growing, but they can affect the deeper layers of your skin.
SCCs are also common, but they’re more likely to spread than BCCs. An SCC can damage your skin and require extensive treatment.
Melanoma is a life-threatening skin cancer that usually develops from an abnormal mole. Early detection can prevent melanoma from spreading.
Call Redwood Empire Dermatology today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about skin cancer screenings.