3 Questions about Having a Skin Cancer Screening

Do you have odd moles on your body that you are concerned about? You may be considering a visit to a dermatologist to have your body checked for skin cancer. Here are some questions you may have about the process.

Is It Possible To Be Too Young For A Skin Cancer Screening? 

You may think that you are too young to have to think about skin cancer, but your age shouldn't play a factor in whether you go or not. You should get a skin cancer screening if you notice odd or irregular moles on your body.

One key sign to look out for is if the mole is asymmetrical, meaning that the left and right sides of the mole are not identical in size. A mole can also have an irregular border with edges that are not well defined. The color could be darker than the other moles on your body. The mole could also be increasing in size, or appear suddenly after not being there for many years. 

How Will A Dermatologist Determine If A Mole Is Cancerous? 

Your dermatologist is going to look for moles that have similar criteria that you should be looking for at home. However, a dermatologist uses a dermatoscope in order to get a closer view of the mole. If they have suspicions that a mole may be cancerous it can be handled in a couple of different ways. You can either continue to monitor the mole to see if it is changing by documenting it. This makes it easy to tell if a mole is changing shape, evolving, or changing color.

It's also possible to get a biopsy of the mole so that it is tested. This is done by scraping off a layer of the mole from the skin so that it can be sent off to a lab. The pathology will be able to identify if the mole is cancerous or benign, and a recommendation will be made to remove the mole.

Do Benign Moles Need To Be Removed? 

It's possible that your dermatologist will suggest that a benign mole is removed. This could be due to the mole having many of the criteria of a cancerous mole, it just has not become cancerous yet. Your dermatologist will then want to make a recommendation to remove the mole before it becomes worse. The goal is to prevent you from having skin cancer since forms of melanoma can grow rapidly if gone unchecked.

Contact a local dermatologist today to schedule a skin cancer screening visit.