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Skin Cancer Surveillance

Skin Cancer Surveillance services offered in Columbia, MD

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more than 9,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. Skin cancer surveillance is an essential tool in detecting the condition early and is available from the board-certified dermatologists at Dermatology & Advanced Skin Care in Columbia, Maryland. If you’re overdue for a skin cancer check, call the office today to schedule a visit or book online in just a matter of moments.

Skin Cancer Surveillance Q & A

What does “skin cancer surveillance” mean?

Skin cancer surveillance refers to having a trained dermatologist assess your skin for signs of cancer. While you can (and should) routinely check your skin, there is no substitute for having a specialist perform a thorough exam. 

Skin cancer is common, and there are several different forms. Some cancers grow slowly and rarely present a challenge to your health. Others, especially melanoma, are aggressive and can be deadly if not treated effectively. 

No matter your sex, age, or ethnicity, you carry a risk of developing skin cancer. People with light skin, blue or green eyes, and blonde or red hair have an elevated risk, as do people who have experienced multiple sunburns. 

Skin cancer surveillance is the best way to detect skin cancer in the earliest possible stages when treatment is often most effective. 

What should I expect during skin cancer surveillance exams?

The initial portion of your visit includes a discussion of your personal and family health history, especially any history of skin cancer or other forms of cancer. 

The exam itself takes very little time and is painless. Your dermatologist closely looks at your skin from head to toe, including your scalp and between your toes. 

If there are any areas of concern, a dermatoscope helps your practitioner examine them under magnification. They might recommend a biopsy, which removes a small skin sample for more in-depth screening. 

The process of having a full-body skin cancer surveillance exam might feel strange or awkward, but there is no pain. These visits are an essential part of your preventive health routines.    

What should I do if I notice a change in my skin between skin cancer surveillance visits? 

Of course, if you notice an area of your skin that looks or feels different, you should always contact the Dermatology & Advanced Skin Care team to book a visit. 

When checking your skin, pay close attention to moles. It’s helpful to think about the “ABCDE” rule, which means checking for:

  • A - Asymmetry 
  • B - Irregular Borders
  • C - Unusual Coloring
  • D - Diameter more than 6mm
  • E - Evolving color, shape, size, or level above skin

Booking a skin cancer surveillance visit with Dermatology & Advanced Skin Care is as easy as a quick phone call or a few moments online.