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Skin Cancer Screening--Who Should Take Part?

 

More and more people are understanding that skin cancer is the most common cancer there is, if caught early and treated it rarely causes serious problems, and finally that the patient has the most control over catching skin cancers in their early stage. The big question is how to know if you are someone who is at high risk of developing skin cancer since 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer sometime during their lifetime.

The following are some of the risk factors associated with skin cancers and most importantly, melanoma type skin cancer:

family history of skin cancer
job that causes you to spend most of your time outdoors
a lot of freckling
burn easily in the sun
blue or green eye color
blonde or red hair color
several blistering type sunburns before the age of 20
more than 25 moles on your body
several large unusual looking moles whether they are flat or raised
personal history of having had a previous skin cancer

Any one of these is enough to encourage you to have a skin exam by a dermatologist, but having several of these risk factors would make it even more important. For those who have trouble getting away from work to get into a dermatologist's office, every May on a designated Saturday morning and afternoon there is a nationwide free skin screening (we usually have 6-8 sites here in Dallas) that you can attend. These screenings are performed by Board Certified Dermatologists.

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