HDCancer Melanoma

How Often Should I Get Checked at the Skin Cancer Clinic?

You must have often thught about getting your skin checked for cancer. But that must have got you wondering – how often do you really need to go to the skin cancer clinic like SunDoctors Australia for a full body exam?

This is an important question since skin cancer rates have been on the rise. As our best defense is early detection, we want to make sure I’m getting screened at the right frequency.

We did some digging and chatted with dermatologists to get their expert advice. Here’s what we learned about how often we should get skin checked.

The Earlier the Better

The most important thing we discovered is that early detection truly improves outcomes. When caught early, most skin cancers can be treated effectively.

So doctors recommend starting yearly full body skin exams at age 20 to 30 to spot any concerns ASAP. Waiting until you’re older misses a crucial window.

Some experts even say full body checks every 3 years can be beneficial starting in your teens. But what if you’re worried about skin cancer risk before then? Read on for guidance based on your risk level.

Know Your Risk Factors

How often you need checks depends on your unique skin cancer risk factors like:

Sun exposure history – Frequent sunburns or tanning bed use increases risk

  • Frequent sunburns or tanning bed use increases risk Fair complexion – Paler skin is more vulnerable to sun damage
  • Paler skin is more vulnerable to sun damage Genetics – Family history of skin cancer raises your risk
  • Family history of skin cancer raises your risk Location – More sun exposure in warmer climates
  • More sun exposure in warmer climates Immunosuppression – Certain health conditions make you more prone
  • Certain health conditions make you more prone Age – Risk increases as you get older

If you have multiple risk factors, start getting annual full body skin checks earlier, like in your teens or 20s. High risk patients may need checks every 6 months.

What To Expect at Your Visit

At your skin screening, the dermatologist will examine your entire body from head to toe, including your back, scalp, between toes – everywhere.

They look for abnormal moles or spots that could indicate skin cancer. The check takes about 10 minutes.

If anything concerning is found, they’ll take a biopsy and examine cells under a microscope to test for cancer. This procedure is quick and simple.

Getting Familiar with Your Skin

Don’t just rely on your dermatologist. Between visits, do monthly self-checks at home. Get familiar with your skin’s landscape, so you notice any changes.

We like using a large mirror and hand mirror to view my back and other hard to see areas. Note any new moles or odd spots and report them at your next appointment.

Conclusion 

While no screening offers 100% prevention, getting your skin checked regularly provides crucial peace of mind. We can take charge of our health through proactive cancer screening.

We feel much more confident now knowing how often we should visit the skin cancer clinic based on my risk profile. Discuss your family history and sun exposure with your dermatologist to determine an optimal skin check schedule together.

We hope this overview helped provide some guidance. Let us know if you have any other skin cancer screening questions. Wishing you good health.




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