Skin Cancer Evaluation
Whether you have skin cancer, believe you are at risk, or simply want to get checked, the professionals at Dermatology Associates are here to help you. At our facility, we screen patients for all types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Plus, when patients come to us with a preexisting condition, we can help diagnose them and get them started on a personalized treatment plan fast.
Screening for Skin Cancer
Screenings are used to determine whether a patient has cancer. As skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, it’s important to get screened regularly – especially if you are at risk. This population includes those with light skin or eyes, blonde or red hair, several moles, or sun-sensitive skin. For these and all other patients, the sooner that skin cancer is found, the better their prognosis is likely to be.
Skin cancer screening usually takes between 10 and 15 minutes to perform. During this process, one of our dermatology care providers will visually examine your skin, checking for the presence of moles, birthmarks, or other unusually colored, shaped, or textured markings. To get a clear look at your skin, we will use an illuminated magnifying glass throughout the process. Depending on our findings, the Dermatology Associates team will either deem you cancer-free or perform further testing to confirm a cancer diagnosis.
Skin Cancer Diagnosis
The skin cancer screening process is not only a powerful preventative measure, but it is also a critical diagnostic tool. As they examine you, our care providers will look for one or more of the following signs of skin cancer:
- Oozing, bleeding, or crusty moles or other skin marks
- A mole that is painful when touched
- A sore that doesn’t heal
- A shiny pink, red, white, or translucent bump
- A mole or sore with irregular borders
Our team pays close attention to moles, which are characteristic signs of melanoma, and check them for asymmetry, uneven color, large diameter, and more. If their overall findings suggest that you have skin cancer, then they will surgically remove a piece of the cancerous skin and perform a biopsy. This lab test will help them determine if you have cancer and what kind it is if you are diagnosed.
If you have a basal cell carcinoma, a biopsy will likely be all the testing that is required to confirm your diagnosis. However, if you have a squamous cell carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, or another similar form of skin cancer, additional testing may be required. One such test is a lymph node biopsy, which helps determine whether the cancer has spread to these structures.
Understanding Your Diagnosis
If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, it’s important to understand the terminology that your clinician will use as they discuss your treatment plan and other medical information. As a part of your diagnosis, your dermatologist will explain both the type and stage of your cancer. The stage is communicated with Roman numerals, with Stage I meaning that your cancer is small and confined to one area and Stage IV indicating that it is advanced and has spread elsewhere. But no matter what stage your cancer is in, the care team at Dermatology Associates can help you fight it.
Comprehensive Screening and Evaluation Services
Located in Fayetteville, NY, the Dermatology Associates team has been providing dermatology, cosmetic, and other expert services for patients since 2008. These services include comprehensive skin cancer screening, evaluation, and treatment. To make your appointment with our compassionate care team, give us a call at 315-663-0100 today.