Annual Skin Exam
In addition to doing routine skin self-exams, people should have a skin cancer check regularly by a doctor or a Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner. A doctor can do a skin cancer check during visits for regular checkups. Patients in Conroe and the Woodlands who think they have atypical moles should point them out to the doctor. It is also important to tell the doctor about any new, changing, or “ugly-looking” moles.
If your doctor has any concerns, then he or she will refer you to a dermatologist who can provide you with a more specific diagnosis.
What Are the Risk Factors for Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer is a very real risk, especially cities in the South such as Conroe and the Woodlands. Although anyone can get skin cancer, there are a few risk factors that increase your chances. Patients with these risk factors should be proactive in their prevention, and treatment:
While these are not the only factors that influence the development of skin cancer, if you have one or more of these features then an annual skin cancer screening is highly recommended.
What Can I Expect From An Annual Skin Exam?
A doctor may want to watch a slightly abnormal mole closely to see whether it changes over time. Anyone who has a large number of abnormal moles should also be regularly examined, which can be as often as twice a year for patients with more risk factors.
During your skin cancer check, sometimes a doctor decides that a mole should be removed so that the tissue can be examined under a microscope. The removal of a mole, called a biopsy, only takes a few minutes and is very common and usually performed in the doctor’s office. During the procedure Dr. Perri will:
After your biopsy, the mole will be sent to a pathologist to examine the tissue under a microscope and see whether the melanocytes are normal, dysplastic, or cancerous.
Learn the Benefits of an Annual Skin Exam with Dr. Perri of The Woodlands & Conroe
Early detection is key to skin cancer treatment. The earlier cancer is diagnosed, the higher your chances are for recovering completely with the least amount of surgical intervention and follow-up treatment. An annual skin cancer screening will allow your dermatologist to monitor any suspicious moles or discolorations before they turn harmful.
To schedule your annual preventative skin exam, call our office in the Woodlands at (281) 943-2749 or Conroe at (936) 522-4966.