According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the epidermis, caused by DNA damage that triggers skin mutations. The dermatological evidence has shown that early detection of skin cancer is critical to minimizing the negative impact to your health. In some cases, skin cancer can lead to death, with melanoma leading as the type presenting the greatest risk to health.
Types of Skin Cancer
The primary skin cancer types are:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
- Actinic Keratosis
According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, the survival rate in the following 5 years after early detection of melanoma is 98%. Early detection refers to catching the disease before it reaches the lymph nodes.
Preventing Skin Cancer: Early Detection
Suncoast Skin Solutions understands the value of early detection of skin cancer. Many dermatologists recommend a full-skin exam solely for high-risk patients. This includes patients that have a family history or individual history of melanoma, have fair skin with red or naturally blonde hair, numerous moles on the skin, unusual skin growths, and/or a history of sunburns or other UV exposure. At Suncoast Skin Solutions, we recommend a full body exam for all patients to support early detection and intervention. While sun exposure is a primary risk factor, areas of the skin not exposed to the sun can also develop skin abnormalities. If growths are found to be abnormal, your dermatologist may remove moles or other growths during the same visit. Any growths that may be cancerous will be sent to a lab for testing.
Preparing for a Full-Body Skin Exam
Patients often ask what is involved in a full-body examination. Being prepared and understanding the process helps alleviate any anxiety patients may experience. Our team assures patients that their comfort is of utmost importance and we take the time to listen to any concerns or areas of discomfort. Our dermatologists are skilled in identifying suspect spots, moles or areas of concern. We also can inspect one area of the skin at a time, keeping the other areas covered, which is generally more comfortable for patients.
4 Full-Skin Examination Preparation Tips
- Take the time to set the appointment. Remember early detection has significant health benefits.
- Perform a self-check at home. Note any areas of concern, document your questions, and bring them with you to the examination. If a mole or other skin growth has changed in color, texture, and/or size, let your doctor know. If you are able to take photographs of rashes, moles, or other skin conditions, bring them to review with your physician. Rashes may not be presenting at the time of the examination.
- Bring any family history with you related to skin cancer. The more detailed information you have, the better. The type of skin cancer is helpful for the dermatologist to know.
- Share your skin care regimen and which products you use on your skin.
Suncoast Skin Solutions is accepting new patients. Our Florida dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County , Brandon, Lutz, Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor and Daytona Beach Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376.