With skin cancer as one of the most common cancers, checking for it should be a top priority. Prevention is better than cure; an annual or bi-yearly skin cancer screening does that. A screening examination is a thorough check-up of your skin where your doctor examines your skin for signs of cancer. Skin cancer is prevalent in Sydney, with over 6,000 skin cancer reports in 2021. So, a skin check in Sydney checks your skin to detect cancer as a preventative measure.
What is Skin Screening?
A skin check or screening is a close and visual examination of the skin. The doctor carefully checks your body for marks, such as birthmarks and moles, or marks in irregular shapes or colours. There are three types of cancer cells: basal, squamous, and melanoma. Unlike basal and squamous, which can be cured with proper treatment, melanoma spreads faster. According to the Australian Cancer Atlas, the melanoma rate in NSW is higher than in other Australian states. A skin screening test detects cancer cells in the beginning stages, which prevents them from growing and spreading.
Preparing for a Skin Test
Being nervous about your first screening examination is valid, and understandably so. However, this guide will help you sit through your appointment comfortably.
Duration of the Skin Check Test
Skin doctors receive special training in and after medical school to detect and treat skin cancers. Since they have the proper expertise and knowledge, a thorough skin screening test takes about twelve to fifteen minutes. The test will include a close examination of your skin and questions regarding your and your family’s skin health.
The doctor will ask you about your medical records, such as sun exposure, family history with skin cancer, tanning frequency, and skin conditions. Sydney’s location and climate expose the skin to direct sun contact, allowing UV rays to affect it. UV level exposure is one of the main reasons for the high skin cancer rate in the state. The entire procedure should not take more than fifteen minutes, including reviewing your moles and marks and asking questions.
Skin Screening is an Open Test
Since a skin cancer test requires the dermatologist to review your skin closely, it entails your entire body, including the skin under your clothes. Your doctor will examine your arms, legs, hands, fingers, nails, scalp, and sensitive body parts. To conduct a thorough test, the doctor will ask you to undress and closely check every area of your skin.
Being in a state of undress is a vulnerable moment. However, given the urgency of the matter, it would be best to let the doctor examine you without letting your shyness take the wheel. Furthermore, an open check-up will also allow you to learn about your body, marks, and skin.
Don’t Worry About the Pain
A skin check is nothing more than a close review of your skin. It does not require medical tools and equipment. At most, your dermatologist might use a dermatoscope to get a closer look. If your doctor suggests removing a suspicious mark, they make the process painless or remove it during a skin biopsy. A skin biopsy is a skin procedure that removes suspicious spots or moles that might carry cancer cells. Either way, you can rest assured the process will be entirely painless.
A skin check in Sydney is a yearly examination that ensures your skin is healthy and cancer-free. It is a close check-up of your skin to detect cancer marks, such as suspicious moles, at early stages to cure them.