Skin Cancer Screening
Believe it or not, all residents should see a dermatologist for an annual skin cancer screening. That’s right; regardless of your ethnicity or skin tone, you are susceptible to developing a skin cancer that can not only be harmful to your overall health, but even fatal. Dr. Perri of Perri Dermatology became interested in becoming a dermatologist after an annual skin examination discovered cancerous cells on his father, thus saving his life. Therefore, he takes all skin cancer screening appointments very seriously.
At Perri Dermatology, we understand that when patients come in for an annual skin cancer screening, they may be nervous, especially if they have a history of skin cancer in their family, or moles or other pigmentation spots on their body that they know may become cancerous. But rest assured, the entire staff at Perri Dermatology is committed to your overall health and safety and will do everything possible to make you comfortable when you are being examined for skin cancer.
How Often Should I Schedule A Screening with Dr. Perri?
As a general rule of thumb, all residents in the area should see Dr. Perri once a year. However, if you have a mole or pigmentation mark that is displaying the “ABCDE’s” of skin cancer, you should come in for an evaluation immediately. These signs are:
- Asymmetry – Moles that are not even and are asymmetrical in shape.
- Border – Harmless moles have smooth, even borders, but cancerous ones often have jagged, uneven borders.
- Color – Benign moles are typically a single shade of brown, while many cancerous moles display multiple shades of brown, tan and black and may even turn red or blue.
- Diameter – Harmless moles usually have a diameter about the size of a pencil eraser, while larger moles can be a sign of skin cancer.
- Evolving – If you have a mole that is changing in shape, size, color or border, it’s a telltale sign that you should see Dr. Perri immediately.
What Types of Skin Cancer Can an Annual Screening Detect?
Chances are, most residents have heard of the most common and deadliest form of skin cancer – melanoma. But there are other forms of skin cancer that can also occur on the body, which Dr. Perri must also examine. These include basal cell skin cancer and squamous cell skin cancer.
What is a Skin Cancer Screening Like?
Many residents are anxious about medical procedures, and thus like to have an understanding of what will take place at their screening before making an appointment. This is completely understandable. When you come to Dr. Perri for a skin cancer screening, you will privately disrobe, and be covered with a gown or sheet. Along with an assistant, Dr. Perri will come into your private room and carefully examine your entire body for markings that may signify you have abnormal or cancerous cells in your skin. While we understand that having your entire body examined can cause anxiety for some patients, Dr. Perri performs these examinations with the utmost professionalism, doing everything possible to make you comfortable during the examination.
What Happens if Dr. Perri Thinks I Have Skin Cancer?
We understand that no dermatology patient wants to hear that he or she may potentially have skin cancer. But, early detection is key to fighting this disease. If during your skin cancer screening, Dr. Perri thinks you may have atypical skin cells that could be cancerous, he will immediately schedule a biopsy for you.
What Happens During a Skin Cancer Biopsy?
There are two types of skin cancer biopsies that may be performed – excision or shaving. The type of biopsy you have will depend on the type of mole that is being examined, and its location on your body. For most moles that appear on the arms, legs, torso or back, excision will be performed as an outpatient procedure. First, Dr. Perri will numb the area with a local anesthetic, and then he will cut either a portion of the mole, the entire mole, or the entire mole and a section of skin around it to be sent to a lab to be biopsied. How much of the mole Dr. Perri takes during your biopsy will depend on your unique case and Dr. Perri’s educated opinion on whether or not the mole in question is, in fact, skin cancer, especially if he thinks it is cancer that may have already spread
If you have a mole or pigmentation mark on a more sensitive area of your body, such as your lips, your nose, or your ears, Dr. Perri may shave the mole instead. With this outpatient procedure, you will receive a local anesthetic, and then Dr. Perri will carefully shave off a layer or multiple layers of skin to be sent to a lab for evaluation.
Schedule a Skin Cancer Screening At Our Offices
We know it can be nerve-wracking to come in for a cancer screening, but doing so on an annual basis – or when you are displaying the “ABCDE’s” of skin cancer – just may save your life.
To schedule a skin screening with Dr. Perri today, call (281) 943-2749.