WHAT IS SKIN CANCER SCREENING?
The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer. The high rate of skin cancer means that routine skin screenings are crucial, especially when you've got a family or personal history of skin cancer. Early detection is key to accessing more treatment options and better results. Leading dermatologist Dr. Jay Mehta offers comprehensive skin cancer screenings with biopsies of abnormal areas, as well as many other innovative skin cancer procedures. To schedule a skin cancer screening, contact Arizona Skin Institute in Surprise, AZ near Phoenix.
TYPES OF SKIN CANCER
Dr. Mehta looks for four kinds of skin cancers during a dermal exam:
Actinic Keratoses (AK): This kind tends to form after age 40 around areas of the skin that have been exposed to sunlight — such as the head, throat, hands, and forearms. AKs look like scaly, dry spots and are generally deemed precancerous because they could develop into squamous cell carcinoma.
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC): This is the most common type of skin cancer. BCC can form anywhere on the body and may look like a pink area or a pearl-sized, flesh-colored bump. BCC needs to be treated because it could grow into nerves and bones, resulting in disfigurements and damage.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): This is the second most common form of skin cancer. Forming on the skin that gets the most UV exposure, SCC looks like scaly spots; firm, red bumps; or sores that heal and reopen. These should be eliminated to avoid damage and disfigurement.
Melanoma: This kind of cancer grows abruptly as a dark spot on the skin. Dr. Mehta uses the ABCDs to detect melanoma: Asymmetry, Border, Color, and Diameter. Based on information from the Skin Cancer Foundation, melanoma accounts for only one percent of skin cancer cases but for the majority of skin cancer deaths. For this reason, melanoma needs to be treated quickly once it's diagnosed.
CHECKING YOUR SKIN FOR CANCER
During your skin cancer screening, Dr. Mehta will check your whole body for moles, birthmarks, and any abnormal growths. He can create a map of spots to indicate areas of concern, which also helps him identify new growths at future screenings. Dr. Mehta will explain to you how to perform a self-exam between your visits.
Sometimes, Dr. Mehta may take a biopsy of a suspicious spot. To do so, he'll numb the skin and then shave off a little sample. He'll send the biopsy to a pathology laboratory for evaluation. After Dr. Mehta gets your pathology report, we'll contact you with the results.
EARLY DETECTION IS THE KEY
Understanding your risk and early detection are two keys factors in treating skin cancer successfully. If you're due for a yearly skin check, then contact our office in Surprise, AZ, near Phoenix. Whether you already see Dr. Mehta for other treatments, are at elevated risk of developing skin cancer, or have questions about a strange growth on your skin, schedule a skin cancer screening at Arizona Skin Institute today.