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Why You Should Have an Annual Skin Screening

When you think of cancer, you may automatically think about a disease that attacks you from the inside out. But skin cancer is actually the most common type of cancer. In fact, one in five Americans will suffer from it. 

Not all types are deadly, though. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas typically stay in one spot and are easily treated. But their more serious cousin, melanoma, can be fatal if ignored. 

That’s why it’s so important to regularly check your body for signs of cancer. And while you know your body best and can usually detect when you have a new spot, mole, or lesion, it often takes a trained eye to recognize the telltale characteristics of precancer.

Dr. Matthew Mittelbronn at Lakeview Dermatology in Lake Worth, Texas, has the trained eye you need. His years of experience and renowned skill enable him to identify all types of skin cancer and develop a customized treatment plan just for you. But he can’t do that unless you come see him for your annual skin screening. Here’s what to expect.

What is a skin screening?

When you come in for an annual skin screening, we check your entire body for signs of skin cancer. To do this, we ask you to remove your clothing and wear a gown that allows us to inspect every inch of your skin. While this may be a little embarrassing for you, rest assured that we’re very discreet and do our best to keep you comfortable.

It’s important to note that a skin screening is not a diagnostic tool, but rather a way for us to determine whether you need further tests. Next-level tests, such as skin biopsies, are the ones that can diagnose various types of cancer.

What we’re looking for

During your annual skin screening, Dr. Mittelbronn looks for moles, spots, lesions, bumps, and sores. 

Not every spot or mark is a sign of cancer, but some are. One of the easiest ways to remember what to look for is to follow the A, B, C, D, Es of moles:

From your head to your toes, Dr. Mittelbronn thoroughly investigates the entire surface of your skin to either give you a clean bill of health or schedule further tests.

Doing this once a year gives him a way to compare moles and spots over time, as change is an indicator of cancer.

Who is at risk for skin cancer?

Although skin cancer can strike anyone at any age, there are a few factors that make it more likely, including:

Dr. Mittelbronn recommends annual skin screenings for all his patients, but if you have any of these risk factors it’s even more important for you to keep your yearly appointments. Most cases of skin cancer are easily treated if caught early and the way to catch them early is to have regular skin screenings.

Remember to always wear sunscreen, protective clothing, and wide-brimmed hats to lower your risk of skin cancer. If you haven’t had a skin screening in a while — or ever — make an appointment with Dr. Mittelbronn. Contact us today at 817-369-8098.

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