Your skin remembers sun exposure from the time you were a baby. It accumulates and shows up in later years.
Dr. Germain recommends people begin routine check ups in their 20s, especially if there is a family history of skin cancer.
Patients visiting the dermatologist for the first time will go through a full-body screening.
“We check them from head to toe,” Dr. Germain says they also teach patients how to do a self-check by “standing in front of a full-length mirrors with no clothes on, look at the front of them, back of them, underarms, private area, palms, soles, everywhere.”
Don’t forget to check your head. Have your hair dresser check when you go to the salon next. What should be looking for?
Dr. Germain says spots that are brown, black, red, or flesh-colored. Women should also be checked when they visit their OB/GYN.
“Anything that is changing, growing, bleeding, not healing,” Dr. Germain says should be checked by a doctor.
Other skin cancer signs and symptoms include areas that itch and stand out.
Video story courtesy of WCBD-TV and reporter Laura Smith.
Call us for your skin check in Summerville or Mount Pleasant (843)881-4440.
- One person dies of melanoma every hour (every 54 minutes).
- An estimated 87,110 new cases of invasive melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017
- An estimated 9,730 people will die of melanoma in 2017.
- The vast majority of melanomas are caused by the sun. In fact, one UK study found that about 86 percent of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
- On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.
- Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40% and the risk of developing melanoma by 50%.
- More than 419,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year are linked to indoor tanning, including about 245,000 basal cell carcinomas, 168,000 squamous cell carcinomas, and 6,200 melanomas
- Individuals who have used tanning beds 10 or more times in their lives have a 34 percent increased risk of developing melanoma compared to those who have never used tanning beds.
- People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75%
During the month of May there is a lot of talk about getting routine skin checks, how to prepare for these and what to expect. What is less discussed is what happens if your dermatologist finds a suspicious spot during the exam.
First thing to note is there are three common types of biopsies which your doctor can choose to perform- a shave, punch, or excisional biopsy. During a shave biopsy the doctor will use a thin blade to shave the suspect area, for a punch biopsy the doctor will use a hollow tool to remove a circle of tissue from the area and in an excisional biopsy a scalpel will be used to remove the growth and tissue around it.
The type of biopsy done is up to your doctor’s discretion based on factors such as your medical history and the type of growth or spot being removed.
Once the procedure(s) are complete the sample(s) of skin tissue will be sent to the lab to be examined under a microscope. Most samples sent for testing are suspect of skin cancer, but can also be done for other common skin conditions. Results from a skin biopsy usually return within 2-3 weeks and your doctor will notify you of the results.
Results are categorized a few ways. First being Normal vs Abnormal. Normal results indicate the sample consists of normal skin tissue. Abnormal results are categorized into various subcategories- benign (noncancerous), Cancer cells (basal, squamous or melanoma cells), other diseases (such as lupus or psoriasis) or positive bacteria or fungal infection.
Your results will determine the next steps in your care, and your dermatologist will guide you to the best solution for your results.
If you haven’t had a regular skin check or notice anything suspicious make an appointment to see one of our expert staff. Early detection of skin cancers can save your life.
|*Courtesy of aad.org|
It is estimated that more than 8,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day, Melanoma making up 1% of all Cancer Cases.
In 2016, it is estimated that there will be 76,380 new cases of melanoma in the United States and 10,130 deaths from the disease.
People under the age of 45 account for 25% of all Melanoma cases.
Melanoma is the third most common cancer among women ages 20-39 and the second most common cancer in men ages 20-39.
There is a 200% increase in Melanoma since 1973 with Melanoma rates in the United States doubling from 1982 to 2011.
- About 132,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization.
Germain Dermatology is spreading the practice of Sun Safety with our May #SunSafeGermain contest! May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month and we cannot impress enough the importance of prevention when it comes to Skin Cancers of all varieties.
All posts must tag @GermainDermatology and #SunSafeGermain.
- Each year in the U.S. over 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people.
- Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
- Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.