Skin Checks and Cancer Screening
Questions & Answers
How often should I have a skin check/ full body exam?
In addition to self monitoring, full body skin examinations by a dermatologist are recommended once yearly. Patients with a history of melanoma should be examined every 6 months for the first 5 years following their diagnosis and then once a year thereafter.
Who should get skin checks or cancer screenings?
Anyone with a personal or family history of skin cancer or atypical moles. Anyone who has had a moderate amount of sun exposure during their life. Anyone with a history of blistering sunburns. Anyone who has a history of tanning bed use. Anyone with a fair skin type. Anyone with high numbers of moles. Anyone who notes a mole or growth changing on their skin.
Dermatologist Keith Llewellyn MD and our physician assistant (PA-C) routinely perform skin checks and cancer screenings for early detection of skin cancers and atypical moles. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. There are many types of skin cancers including, Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), and Melanoma. With early detection and proper treatment, the cure rate for BCC, SCC and Melanoma can exceed 95%.
How It Helps
Full skin examinations and self-monitoring of your skin for suspicious, new or changing skin lesions can lead to early detection of precancers, atypical moles and skin cancer. Early detection and treatment lead to higher cure rates, smaller surgeries and better cosmetic outcomes.
What to Expect
Keith Llewellyn MD and our physician assistant (PA-C) perform very thorough skin checks and cancer screenings. A full skin examination can be performed in 10-20 minutes depending on your age and the condition of your skin. Prior to getting into a gown, our medical assistants will ask you if you have any particular spots of concern. Please inform us of any new or changing moles or other skin lesions. Once in a gown, you will be examined from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet as melanoma can occur anywhere including areas where the sun rarely shines. If you do not wish to have certain areas examined, please inform our staff. If lesions of concern are found, they will be discussed with you. They may be biopsied or treated during the full skin examination and/or an appointment can be scheduled at a later date to address them.
How to Prepare
It is best if you arrive make-up free and are able to inform the physician of any new or changing spots that cause you concern.
To care for the biopsy site simply use an antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin or Neosporin and a bandage, similar to caring for a small scrape.
If a lesion is treated with liquid nitrogen, the lesion will gradually swell, blister or crust and eventually flake off. Antibiotic ointment can be used if any open sores develop to ease any irritation.