In our day-to-day life, there are so many instances where we come across different marks and moles on our skin. A small spot depicting the little map of Texas might not seem worrisome. On the other hand, if this mole sprawled across your lower back and had an unusual texture, it might ring some warning bells in your head.
In either case, you must keep a close eye on your birthmarks, moles, or any other marks that have a peculiar size, colour, texture or shape.
As it is, statistics reveal that 2 out of 3 Australians are likely to get diagnosed with some kind of skin cancer before hitting 70.
Hence, it would be best to select one from the list of skin cancer clinics in Sydney and visit one to get a professional opinion.
There are two main questions here, though.
One, why and when do you need a skin cancer screening? Two, what happens during the screening?
Let’s answer those questions.
When Do You Need a Skin Cancer Screening?
Many risk factors might put you high up in the list of individuals likely to get skin cancer. If you have any of the following characteristics, you might want to be slightly more cautious!
- Light skin tone
- Light-coloured eyes like green or blue
- Sunburn history
- Extreme exposure to the sun
- Red or blond hair
- Freckled skin
- Skin that burns easily
- Family history of skin cancer
- Excessive number of moles
Additionally, you can also look out for the following signs while doing a quick visual check once in a while:
- Painful mole
- A mole with an irregular border that bleeds easily
- A spot or mole that changes frequently
- Sores that take more than two weeks to heal
- Skin mark that bleeds, oozes or becomes crusty
- Red, pink, white or translucent bump on the skin
If you are doubtful that you have melanoma, follow the symptoms that go in the form of ‘ABCDE.’
- Asymmetrically shaped mole
- Borders of the mark are irregular or ragged
- Colour is uneven
- Diameter of the mole is the size of a pencil eraser
- Evolving in its shape, size and colour
In cases like these, you might want regular screening from one of the skin cancer clinics in Sydney.
What Can You Expect in a Skin Cancer Screening?
Most people often run a visual screening all by themselves. All you need to do is look for any odd marks or moles. But, if that does not seem helpful, you can always visit a dermatologist or your primary physician.
- They will likely do a complete head-to-toe skin exam in a well-lit room.
- This skin cancer screening is a simple procedure.
- You need to change into a comfortable gown. Your doctor will check your scalp, fingers, buttocks, behind the ears, toes and genitals. Initially, it might seem a bit embarrassing and overwhelming, but you must remember that it’s essential to catch any early signs of cancer, if possible.
- At some point, the doctor might use a magnifying glass with additional light to check certain marks.
- This will overall take around 10-15 minutes.
- If any mark or mole looks alarming, your doctor might order a skin biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
This procedure will require your skin sample, which will be tested for cancer cells. If it comes positive, your doctor will present different courses of treatment. If the test is negative, well, that’s a relief, then!
Prevention Is Always Better Than Cure
It’s okay to be a little paranoid about a distinctive mark or mole and to run to the dermatologist for the same. In fact, if you get regular skin cancer screenings, chances are that you might be able to catch it during its primitive stages.
So, always err on the side of caution and get screenings as often as possible