Skin Cancer Screening
Who should be screened?
The American Cancer Society suggests the following guidelines for early detection of skin cancer:
|Men & women, age 20+||Examinations every 3 years from ages 20 to 39 years and annually after age 40.|
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the outer layers of the skin.
There are several types of cancer that start in the skin. The most common are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. These types of skin cancer are called nonmelanoma skin cancer. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that starts in the melanocytes. It is not as common as basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer, but it is much more serious.
For more information on skin cancer, click here.
Source: National Cancer Institute
Who is at risk?
Some of the risk factors associated with skin cancer are:
Fair skin that freckles easily.
Blonds, redheads, and people with light colored eyes are especially susceptible.
Place of residence.
Living in warm, sunny climates increases sun exposure.
If someone in your family had skin cancer you may be more likely to develop it.
People with outdoor occupations, such as farmers and construction workers, are at a higher risk.
Sudden and intense sun exposure.
People who are indoors all week and spend all weekend sunbathing increase their risk for developing melanoma.
History of blistering sunburn.
Studies have shown people who get a single blistering sunburn as a child or adolescent are twice as likely to develop skin cancer.
While the incidence of skin cancer in younger adults is increasing, older people are at a higher risk due to the cumulative effects of the sun.
Northeast Regional Cancer Institute