Skin Cancer Screening
Conveniently located to serve Newport Beach in Orange County
Each year in the US, nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer, so regular skin cancer screening is incredibly important. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. About 80% of these new skin cancer cases will be basal cell carcinoma (BCC), 16% will be squamous cell carcinoma, and 4% will be melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the most common form of skin cancer, is rarely fatal, but can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. About two percent of squamous cell carcinoma patients – between 3,900 and 8,800 people – died from the disease in the US in 2012. If you have noticed a suspicious lesion or growth, you should get a skin cancer screening in Newport Beach.
It has been estimated that regular application of sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater for the first 18 years of life would reduce the lifetime incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancers by 78%. Sunlight exposure is the primary cause of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Ninety percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are due to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Although the number of nonmelanoma skin cancers is staggering, both basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas have a better than 95% cure rate if detected and treated early. Even melanoma, a type of skin cancer that can spread quickly, is curable when treated early. If you notice a spot or lump that is growing, bleeding, or changing, you should make an appointment to see a dermatologist.
What Is a Skin Cancer Screening?
Skin cancer screening refers to a doctor’s visual inspection of your skin to check for signs of the disease. The doctor will inspect your skin for birthmarks, moles, or other skin growths with an unusual color, size, texture, or shape. Further tests may be necessary for areas that do not appear normal. If a suspicious lesion is noticed, you will need to undergo a biopsy to determine whether the lesion is cancerous.
Should I Come in for a Skin Cancer Screening?
Patients should have complete skin examinations yearly starting in their twenties. Those with a history of skin cancer need a full skin examination on an even more regular basis (every 6 months) coupled with education about ultraviolet sun exposure and the regular use of sunscreen. Immunosuppressed patients have a higher incidence of skin cancer, especially squamous cell carcinoma, and require very careful follow-up by a dermatologist.
Some medical professionals recommend performing a self-exam of your skin starting at 18 because of how common the condition is. However, skin cancer screening with a doctor may be crucial if you find suspicious spots on your skin during the self-exam, have had skin cancer in the past, or are at greater risk of getting the condition.
Am I at Risk of Getting Skin Cancer?
High-risk individuals for skin cancer include people with frequent exposure to natural or artificial sunlight like tanning beds. People who have pale skin, skin that burns or freckles easily, red or blond hair, or skin that only tans a little or not at all are also at a high risk.
Others who are especially at risk include those with green or blue eyes, those with large moles, older patients, and people with a family history of suffering from skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Screening: What to Expect
During a skin cancer screening, you will need to remove your clothes and wear a gown so the doctor can perform a full body exam. The doctor may use a special magnifying glass to have a better look at certain spots or moles. The exam typically lasts 10-15 minutes.
During your skin cancer screening, the doctor will also talk to you about skin cancer, its risk factors, its common types, and how to protect yourself.
A biopsy is usually conducted if a growth looks unusual. This involves removing tissue through local excision. A pathologist then examines the tissue under a microscope to see if there are cancer cells. The doctor will minimize scarring as much as possible during the excision.
How Much Does a Skin Cancer Screening Cost?
The cost of your skin cancer screening may be covered by health insurance, but make sure to check with your provider first. It will be a small price to pay if it will give you peace of mind.
Contact Us to Learn More
Looking to set up a skin cancer screening in Newport Beach? To personalize your SPOT Screening experience, click here. Dr. Reinstadler will be happy to help, so contact us today!
Dr. Amy Reinstadtler will see you in her office in Newport Beach.