What Is Skin Cancer Screening?
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S, with over 5 million cases diagnosed each year. Two people die of skin cancer every hour. The three most common skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Fortunately, these cancers are usually very treatable, especially if diagnosed in the early stages. Skin cancer screening with a dermatology provider is an important tool for helping to diagnose and treat skin cancer as early as possible. At Helena Dermatology, we specialize in skin health and can provide you with comprehensive skin cancer screening and skin cancer treatment.
How Does The Screening Work?
Skin cancer screening is an essential step in finding and treating several types of skin cancer in their early stages, before they cause symptoms. By the time symptoms of skin cancer appear, the disease may have already begun to spread and become harder to treat. Early detection is critical because it may allow for less aggressive or extensive treatment, and may result in a higher potential for cure. Skin cancer screening starts with a skin examination by your dermatology provider, which may be performed with the aid of specialized instruments, such as a dermatoscope. If suspicious lesions are identified, a skin biopsy may be necessary. Helena Dermatology offers thorough skin cancer screening and subsequent treatment, including surgical removal. We also provide referrals for those cancers requiring Mohs surgery.
What Does Cancer Screening Address?
Skin cancer screening is used to look for signs of skin cancer. If the examination reveals a lesion that is suspicious for skin cancer, a skin biopsy may be performed by your dermatology provider. Skin biopsies are considered minor surgical procedures and are often done at the same time as your screening. Skin cancer screening can also help identify risk factors for skin cancer, and therefore allow your Helena Dermatology provider to formulate a personalized plan for your skin cancer prevention and early detection.
What to Expect During Skin Cancer Screening?
Skin cancer screening offered at Helena Dermatology involves a visual exam of the skin. During the screening process, we will check the skin for moles, birthmarks, or other marks that are unusual in color, size, shape, or texture. The screening typically takes as little as 10 minutes, but can reveal quite a lot. This exam is simple and doesn’t require any pre-visit preparation or post-visit downtime. If an abnormal mole or other growth is discovered, you may have a biopsy at the time of your appointment or be asked to make a follow-up appointment for an additional minor surgical procedure.
Results From Cancer Screening
If your screening reveals a mole or other mark that looks like it might be a sign of cancer, a biopsy may be performed. A skin biopsy is a procedure that removes a small sample of skin for testing. The skin sample is looked at under a microscope to check for cancer cells. If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, we can provide treatment in the form of surgery. In addition, we can also refer you to another center that provides Mohs surgery. Mohs is a micrographic procedure that removes skin cancer in stages, reducing the likelihood of scarring while offering a high rate of success.
Skin Cancer Screening in Helena, MT
Helena Dermatology is here to provide you with the care and support you need. If you’ve noticed an irregular birthmark, mole, or other skin abnormality, we encourage you to visit our center for skin cancer screening. For expert dermatological care and ongoing support with a friendly smile, fill out the form below to schedule and appointment or give us a call at (406) 443-7200.