Performing monthly skin self-exams and making careful note of changes in the skin along with visiting Dr. Swengel for a skin cancer screening will go a long way toward detecting melanoma in its early stages.
Screening is looking for skin cancer before you have any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread.
Screening tests are given when you have no cancer symptoms.
It is important to remember that Dr. Swengel and his skin experts at Refined Dermatology do not necessarily think you have cancer if he or she suggests a screening test. Screening tests are given when you have no cancer symptoms.
If a screening test result is abnormal, you may need to have more tests done to find out if you have cancer. These are called diagnostic tests.
It is recommended that you have a skin cancer screening at any age where a concern exists about a new or changing skin lesion. If you have a family history of melanoma skin cancer, you should be screened annually.
Dr. Swengel generally recommends to patients who have a prior history of non-melanoma skin cancer, multiple atypical moles, or have had multiple precancerous skin lesions removed, twice yearly screenings. Patients with Melanoma may need to be screened more frequently than twice yearly.