People of all skin types are susceptible to skin cancer, and 1 in 5 adults develops the disease at some point in their life. Because almost all skin cancer is curable with early detection and prompt treatment, the team at Integrated Dermatology of Brookline is dedicated to providing routine skin cancer screenings and sun protection counseling to all patients. To book an appointment with Dr. Rockoff or Dr. Wang, call your nearest office in Brookline or Andover, Massachusetts, today, or book online anytime.
Skin cancer, which ranks as the most common cancer in the United States, is the growth of abnormal skin cells caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, either from natural sunlight or tanning bed use.
Although skin cancer can develop anywhere on your body, it typically appears on more exposed areas of skin. It can emerge following years of cumulative exposure to UV light, or after briefer instances of intense exposure.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most frequently diagnosed form of skin cancer. Basal cells make up the deepest part of your epidermis; a BCC is any abnormal, uncontrolled growth or lesion that begins in this layer.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the second most prevalent type of skin cancer, arises when abnormal cells develop and grow uncontrollably in the outermost part of your epidermis.
Melanoma may be the least common form of skin cancer, but it’s also the most problematic. Unlike BCC and SCC, melanoma tends to spread rapidly and cause malignant tumors elsewhere in your body. Fortunately, melanomas have a high cure rate when diagnosed early and treated properly.
The team at Integrated Dermatology of Brookline performs visual skin inspections to look for potential signs of cancer in the moles, spots, patches, growths, sores, and lesions on your skin as well as any dark spots or streaks that appear beneath your nails.
They use a special magnifying device to see your epidermis as clearly as possible and inspect virtually every inch of skin, including your scalp, between your toes, and the soles of your feet.
If they see something suspicious, they may perform a quick biopsy by removing a layer of skin for further examination under a high-powered microscope.
Most skin cancer screenings are full-body exams that require you to remove all of your clothes and wear a gown. If you haven’t been diagnosed with skin cancer in the past, your exam may be completed in as little as 10 minutes. If you’ve had skin cancer or you have a lot of moles, the exam may take a bit longer.
Before your skin cancer screening, make a note of any skin lesions that concern you. This includes any moles, spots, or growths that itch, cause discomfort, or have changed their appearance.
Keep your skin and nails completely bare for your exam — remove any nail polish before your appointment, and skip the makeup, moisturizer, lotion, or sunscreen until your exam is over.
To schedule your next skin cancer screening, call Integrated Dermatology of Brookline, or book an appointment online today.