Skin Cancer Screening

Skin Cancer Screening | Skin Cancer Detection | Portland OR | Vancouver WA

Full-body skin exams are an essential method of screening patients for benign or cancerous lesions that they may not have been able to see or recognize on their own. From head to toe and back to front, he inspects the skin for any suspicious growths. This quick and painless preventive measure is an invaluable tool in the early detection of skin cancer as well as many other dermatological conditions.

There is always a registered nurse present in the room with the doctor and patient. Our physicians like the patient to look at their skin with them so they can point out the various benign and sometimes malignant growths they see and then discuss them with the patient.

Medical attention is necessary after noticing any skin changes, as early detection is valuable in successfully treating skin cancer. Regular full body screening is recommended as well. A biopsy is usually performed to accurately diagnose suspected cancerous growths.

While most moles and other skin growths are not of medical concern, it is important to screen for cancer and other skin conditions that can develop in some cases. Full-body skin exams to detect any new moles and growths, as well as to monitor existing growths, are recommended on a yearly basis in order to screen for skin cancer and detect any abnormalities in their earliest stages. To classify a mole, our physicians will evaluate its color, size, border and any asymmetries that may indicate a potential for cancer. If any suspicious lesions are found during this exam, additional testing will likely be performed.  Photographs are often taken of the back and other areas to serve as a baseline for further evaluations.

If there are any marks on your body that concern you, it's important to bring them to the attention of our physicians. Anything they find suspicious during the full-body skin exam will be biopsied. That means that a physician will cut away a small portion of the skin in the area in question and send it to a lab for evaluation. When the lab results return, a physician will discuss with you whether the spot needs immediate treatment or just to be watched.

The examination itself does not take long if you have never had any type of cancerous or precancerous finding previously. A physician will examine your skin from your head to your feet, including often overlooked areas such as the scalp and fingernails, but primarily focusing on any existing moles along the way. Feel free to ask a physician for tips on how to perform self-exams at home as well.