Skin Cancer Screening Bend OR

What is a skin cancer screening?

A skin cancer screening helps you to find cancer at an early stage before you experience any symptoms. When abnormal tissues or cancer is found early, the chance of successfully getting it treated is at its highest.  It is always better to have a skin cancer screening before any of the symptoms appear because cancer may have begun to spread once the symptoms are apparent. Fortunately, a skin cancer screening can help you catch it early while it is still curable.  Especially in patients who are diagnosed with melanomas, it is very important for them to receive early detection and treatment since this type of skin cancer can be fatal.

When is it recommended to get cancer screening?

For patients with a personal history of melanoma or carcinomas, specialists recommend a lifelong dermatologic surveillance.  But for those that are not at risk, doctors say that it should be made a habit to examine the skin at least 3 times a month for any irregularities with moles or spots.

Doctors identified the following as those that are at risk of skin cancer and should come in for regular skin cancer screening:

  • Persons with a family history of melanoma or carcinoma from 2 or more blood relatives
  • Patients with multiple atypical moles present
  • Patients with numerous actinic keratosis

Specialists also suggest that you have a skin cancer screening  if you notice any of the following:

  • A spot, mole, or freckle that has changes in shape, size or color
  • If you have a spot or a mole that becomes itchy, painful, becomes crusty or bleeds
  • Appearance of a new spot which looks different from the ones around it
  • If you have a sore that doesn’t heal

You can seek the help of your general practitioner who knows your full medical history.  If you want a second opinion you can consult with a specialist such as a dermatologist, surgeon or plastic surgeon.

What is a skin cancer screening procedure like?

There is very little preparation needed when undergoing skin cancer screening.  Your practitioner will first ask a set of questions to determine your predisposition to getting melanomas.  The procedure itself will last about 15 minutes on the average.  Your doctor will scan your skin for any unusual moles or lesions and you may feel free to point to your doctor any spots or moles that concern you.  Your doctor will then use a scope to take digital images of your moles.  Your doctor will discuss with you the results and will then map out a treatment plan should you need one.