Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and yet most of us lay out in the sun all summer and rarely get our skin checked. Each year, more than a million people are diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer and 62,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma.
Skin cancer is cured most easily at its earliest stage, which is why screenings are so important. Screenings typically take about 15 minutes where a dermatologist will inspect any suspicious moles. There are several warning signs, conveniently labeled the ABCDE’s, that a mole may be pre-cancerous. If the mole is:
- Border – has a uneven border
- Color – is several different shades of colors
- Diameter – large in size
- Evolving – changing in any way
It is recommended to have your skin checked for skin cancer every 6 months to 1 year. However, you should do your own skin checks at home, particularly after spending time in the sun, to see if any moles are changing or growing in size.
If you have a history of precancerous lesions or a family history of melanoma, you may consider having your skin checked as often as every 3-6 months. Melanoma can be life threatening and the number of cases has been increasing over the past several decades. Early detection and treatment is extremely important.
Has it been a while since your last skin cancer check? Schedule a consultation or appointment at Laser Skin Care Center in Long Beach, CA today by calling (562) 997-1144.