Of all the types of cancer, skin cancer is the most common. It comes in different forms, and while some types of skin cancer are fairly easy to treat, others can prove lethal. The best way to successfully treat skin cancer is to detect it early and receive clinical intervention as promptly as possible.
At the Wisconsin Institute of Plastic Surgery, we provide skin cancer screenings for patients near the Oshkosh, WI community. We can offer diagnostic testing on any blemishes or growths that show signs of malignancy, and we can also walk patients through the next steps in the treatment process.
What is a Skin Cancer Screening?
Often, the warning signs of skin cancer will be visible, either to the naked eye or powerful magnifiers. During a skin cancer screening, your skincare specialist will evaluate you from your scalp down to your toes, noting any unusual colors or textures on your skin and cataloging any unexplainable bumps.
Certain growths or blemishes may be flagged as potentially worrisome based on their size, shape, color, or location on the body. Our dermatology physician assistants may recommend that these growths be biopsied, which includes scanning them for any evidence of cancer cells.
A skin cancer screening may result in your dermatology specialist telling you that your skin looks fine, and that there are no causes for concern or further testing. If cancer is detected, they will help you take the first steps toward seeking the right treatment.
When Do I Need a Skin Cancer Screening?
Our dermatology physician assistants typically recommend annual skin cancer screenings for patients who are in higher-risk categories for developing skin cancer. There are a number of factors that might place you in one of these high-risk groups, including:
- Fair skin. Fairer skin is usually an indicator of heightened risk for skin cancer. The same goes for lighter-colored eyes, freckles, and blonde or red hair.
- Family history. If you have a family history of skin cancer, that places you in a higher risk category. Annual skin cancer screenings are recommended.
- If you have a large number of moles, or if you have moles that have recently changed in size or in shape, we suggest coming in for a skin cancer screening.
- If you have a history of sunburns, skin cancer screenings are a good precaution. This is doubly true if you have a hobby or vocation that requires you to spend a lot of time in the sun.
If you are unsure about whether or not you need a skin cancer screening, it never hurts to make an appointment. Our dermatology specialists can tell you if and when follow-up screenings are recommended.
What Should I Expect from a Skin Cancer Screening?
If you have never had a skin cancer screening, you may have some questions about what the process entails. Here are a few general notes about what you can expect from your skin cancer screening appointment near Oshkosh, WI.
What is the Appointment Like?
Your provider will want to evaluate all of your skin, from head to toe. To make this easier, we generally ask patients to wear a medical gown during their appointment. Your dermatology specialist will carefully inspect your body for anything unusual or concerning, potentially using a magnifying glass to more closely evaluate worrisome areas, and they will let you know if any further tests or treatments are necessary.
How Long Does It Take for a Skin Cancer Screening?
Most of the time, skin cancer screenings are very brief. You can anticipate being finished in just 15 or 20 minutes.
What Happens After the Skin Cancer Screening?
If you have moles or blemishes that cause concern, we may ask to collect a small tissue sample in order to perform a biopsy. Assuming the biopsy turns out to be negative, we will simply let you know when you should schedule your next evaluation. If there is cancer present, your provider will talk with you about the next steps.
How Can I Prepare for My Skin Cancer Screening?
There are just a few steps you can take to ensure you are ready for your skin cancer screening at the Wisconsin Institute of Plastic Surgery:
- Avoid wearing makeup to your appointment
- Avoid wearing any nail polish to your appointment
- Scan your body before the appointment and make a note of any areas you specifically want to ask about
- Wear your hair in a loose style, enabling access to your scalp
Schedule Your Skin Cancer Evaluation near Oshkosh, WI
A skin cancer evaluation can be an important health and safety precaution, and a great way to ensure that cancer is dealt with promptly and proactively. To make an appointment with our team at the Wisconsin Institute of Plastic Surgery, contact our office today at (920) 380-9890.