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November 24, 2021

How Often Should You Get a Screening for Skin Cancer?

As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure,’ part of prevention is a timely diagnosis. Cancer of any type can often stimulate negative thought processes in the individual on discovery. However, early detection through timely diagnosis can help boost your chances of surviving the severity of the disease.

Since all human beings are different physiologically, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions to a medical problem. It would be best to take a trip to your dermatologists’ office once a year, but in case of any family history with cancer, once every six months is reasonable.

Consulting with experts like Manhattan Dermatology can help evaluate your current skin health status and provide the needed treatments after a skin evaluation. Factors like fair skin, hair, eyes, use of tanning treatments, history of sunburns, etc., should be considered.

Melanoma has claimed more lives than any other skin-related carcinoma in the medical world. However, the two most common types, basal cell carcinoma and squamous carcinoma, can be treated if detected early. 

When visiting the doctors’ office, please make sure to prepare yourself before the evaluation. Self-evaluation, removing any cosmetics, tying your hair loosely, and always asking questions are ways to prepare yourself.

The doctor will conduct a simple visual examination and screen your skin for any possible moles, marks, or spots during your appointment. If the doctor is suspicious, a biopsy will be recommended to help confirm the suspicion.

On confirmation of carcinoma, the following treatments may be prescribed by your doctor:

Chemotherapy and Radiation:

Chemotherapy would involve killing the cancerous cells through drugs. If cancer has spread to other organs, systemic chemotherapy is prescribed. 

Radiation uses high-powered beams to kill toxic cells that may have been left behind during surgery.

Cryosurgery:

This procedure involves the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze actinic keratoses and other early skin cancers. On thawing, the cells get exterminated. It is also adopted in case the doctor couldn’t scrape all the cancerous cells during surgery.

Excisional Surgery:

As the term suggests, the doctor will cut to remove all the cancerous cells and might even remove a part of healthy skin around the incision as a measure of safety.

Mohs Surgery:

To remove as little skin as possible, this surgery is adopted. The doctor will remove the cancerous cell growth layer by layer and examine each layer until no sign of the carcinoma is found.

Photodynamic Therapy:

The use of lasers and drugs makes cancerous cells sensitive to light, thereby killing them in the process.

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