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Skin Cancer Screening Examination
We believe the fight against skin cancer begins with proper protection against the sun’s damaging rays (ionizing radiation), which includes the daily use of sunblock (an SPF of 30 or higher on all sun exposed skin), clothing (such as a brimmed hat to cover your ears and nose, and other garments, particularly SPF rated clothing), avoiding the peak exposure time of day (10 am-4pm), and shade. Secondly, self-examination on a monthly basis is recommended to look for any new or changing spot and let your dermatologist examine this lesion. Thirdly, for patients who are at risk for skin cancer, a skin cancer screening examination is recommended. You and your dermatologist will determine how frequently you should be screened based upon the findings, risk, and your concerns. For example, we believe if you are a transplant patient (kidney, heart, lung or liver/pancreas), every an every 3-4 month screening is recommended. Because of the immune suppressing medications to prevent rejection, skin cancers (squamous cell carcinomas) are more likely and found in areas of minimal to little or no sun exposure.
We believe a skin cancer screening examination should be thorough and complete, ideally without makeup, as most skin cancers occur on the face and neck, and may involve anogenital region.
Our dermatologists will use a hand held instrument, called a dermoscope, to help detect a lesion that might require biopsy.