By Shady Grove Dermatology
August 14, 2017
Category: Skin Care
Tags: skin cancer   skin exams  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, with skin examinationabout 77,000 new cases diagnosed in 2014. However, despite these large numbers, you can decrease your chances of late-stage skin cancer with regular skin examinations with your dermatologist. These examinations help catch skin cancer in its earliest and most curable stages. Find out more about skin examinations with Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD.

What does a skin examination involve? 
Skin examinations help your dermatologist detect early signs and symptoms of skin cancer while assessing your skin care routine and helping you find the best skin protection for you. During the appointment, your dermatologist will look over the skin from head to toe and point out any questionable moles. If they suspect cancer, your doctor will biopsy the skin and send it to a laboratory for testing. If you wear makeup, come to the appointment without any foundation.

Why is a skin examination important? 
Skin cancer has the highest cure rate in its earliest stages. Regular skin examinations, whether at-home or in your dermatologist’s office, help you and your doctor find the earliest signs of skin cancer to begin the treatment process. Additionally, a skin examination allows your doctor to help address your skin care routine and sun protection habits.

Detecting Skin Cancer in Rockville, MD
A cancerous mole will appear differently than a normal mole. The ABCDE method will help you determine if a mole is suspicious:

  • Asymmetrical: Cancerous moles are asymmetrical in shape.
  • Border: A cancerous mole’s border is not smooth and can be jagged or wavy.
  • Color: A normal mole is light pink to brown in color. A cancerous mole may have more than one color within its borders or be very dark.
  • Diameter: A normal-sized mole is usually less than 6mm, or about the size of a pencil eraser, in diameter.
  • Evolving: Cancerous moles change in appearance and can change shape or color. Normal moles remain the same.

For more information on skin cancer, its diagnosis, or its treatments, please contact Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD. Call (240) 246-7417 to schedule your appointment with your dermatologist today!

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