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What to Expect from a Skin Cancer Check

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We are all at risk of skin cancer, no matter our age, weight, or race. Luckily, a preventive measure we can all make is undergoing a skin cancer check.

If you’ve ever had any questions about a skin cancer screening, what follows are answers to the most essential questions regarding screenings: from cost, time and general precautions.

What Exactly Is a Skin Cancer Screening?

A screening checks for any abnormal tissue or skin cancer—even before you may have experienced any symptoms. And all without any blood work.

Do I Really Need One?

In the United States, there isn’t a form of cancer more common than skin cancer. The most diagnosed skin cancers in America are basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

And if detected early enough, there is nearly 100 percent chance (95 percent, to be exact) of eradicating these two cancers.

How Much Is It?

Completely free. Board-certified dermatologists provide this service free of charge with the help of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Does It Take Long?

Not at all. A screening shouldn’t take any longer than 10 minutes. And that includes filling out the proper paperwork.

How Often Should I Get It Done?

Dermatologists recommend annual skin examinations.

Which Area Should Be Screened?

A full-body examination is recommended to make doubly sure you’re free and clear of any deadly skin cancers. But more visible areas like the face and arms can be requested.

Does This Screening Include Other Conditions?

Not quite. Any exams for conditions outside of skin cancer (such as psoriasis, eczema or acne) will require speaking with your doctor and setting up a separate appointment.

Is No Health Insurance a Problem?

Go ahead and get the screening. It’s free. But if your dermatologists has concerns over a spot that may be cancerous, there are options to get that treated at a later date.

Namely free clinics or many dermatology offices offer the service at a discount—just call ahead to your local doctor and find out.

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