Skin Cancer Screening
Skin Cancer Screening in Phoenix, AZ
You get regular check-ups to check on your heart, lungs and/or joints — but what are you doing to ensure the health of the largest organ in your body (your skin)? If you have not undergone a skin check in the past year or ever, it may be time to schedule a melanoma screening at our office.
Our dermatologists at North Mountain Dermatology regularly perform skin cancer screenings that evaluate your skin from head to toe for signs of suspicious moles that could indicate skin cancer, including its deadliest form known as melanoma.
What is melanoma?
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that starts in your skin’s melanocytes, which are responsible for making skin pigments that can make you appear tanned. When cancerous cells start to grow in your melanocytes, it can often cause changes in pigment that makes a mole appear discolored or even black. Melanomas are responsible for an estimated 75 percent of skin cancer deaths, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Because a dermatologist is well-versed in melanoma’s appearance and common locations, he or she can perform regular skin checks for their patients to identify suspicious-looking moles or other lesions. If they identify an irregular mole, they can remove a small portion of the tissue and test it for the presence of cancerous cells, a process known as a biopsy.
While the general recommendation is to schedule a melanoma screening on a yearly basis as you would a regular physical, you should always contact your dermatologist if you notice significant changes in a mole. These could include if a mole’s borders become irregular, the mole turns black, red or unevenly colored or starts to grow larger. Also, if you had a significant amount of sun exposure, you may need to visit a dermatologist more often. You are at higher risk and may experience faster skin changes than a person who stayed out of the sun.
Protect you skin, wear sunscreen!
As summer’s temperatures heat up and you start to spend more time outside, don’t forget to put on your sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30. Reapply frequently to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. You’ll not only reduce your melanoma risk, you’ll also maintain younger-looking skin.
Make an appointment for a skin cancer screening today. Call North Mountain Dermatology in Phoenix, AZ at (602) 944-4628!