A skin cancer screening is an examination of the skin visually that can be done by a health care provider or by yourself. The screening checks and examines the skin for moles, other marks, and birthmarks that are not usual in size, color, texture, and shape. These certain unusual marks may be signs of skin cancer. This is the most common type of cancer that may rarely spread to other parts of the body and are usually curable with medical treatments. Few types of skin cancers are more dangerous because they are more likely to spread to other parts of the body.
A mole on the skin is usually known as nevus or a beauty mark. It is common to have these moles, or birthmarks, on the skin but few can be very dangerous or harmless. They must not hurt or bleed. A normal mole can last as long as 50 years and they are contagious.
If you suspect any abnormal mole, discuss with your healthcare provider or a dermatologist. A dermatologist will do Mole Checks of your skin from head to toes. They note each spot that needs monitoring or further treatment. Many dermatologists do use a lighted magnifier usually called a dermatoscope to check moles and spots closely. If skin cancer is suspected after a screening, a test is done that is called a biopsy to find out whether you have cancer or not.
Need of Screening
You may need a skin cancer screening if you are having certain risk factors. These factors include;
- Light skin tone
- Light-colored eyes usually blue or green
- History of sunburn
- A large number of moles
- Skin that burns easily
- Skin that freckles easily
- Family or personal history of skin cancer
- Frequent exposure to the sun
- Blond or red hair
If you are having these factors, talk to your health care provider or a physician about your regular checkups and screening tests.
Signs and Symptoms
If you know the screening techniques and you have decided to screen yourself, you may need to be screened by healthcare if you find any of the given signs of skin cancer during your self-examination. These signs are different for each type of skin cancer and may include;
- Any change in existing mole or spot
- Pain tough to a mole
- Mole or any other skin mark that bleeds, or becomes crusty
- Shiny pink, pearly white, red, or translucent bump
- Mole or sore with irregular borders that bleed easily
- Sore that does not heal within the time of two weeks
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. For self-checkup and examination, ABCDE is the easy way to remember the signs of this specific type of cancer.
A – asymmetry – mole with an odd, unusual shape or half of the mole not matching with the other half
B – border – ragged or irregular border
C – Color –the uneven color of the mole
D – diameter – mole bigger in size than the size of a pea or an eraser of the pencil
E – evolving – change in size, color, or shape