Are Examinations Necessary to Detect Skin Cancer? We Vote Yes
A U.S. task force recently said that it lacked sufficient evidence to recommend total body screening for skin cancer. After reviewing thousands of research papers and studies from around the world, they found that none of them allowed them to definitely establish the value of skin cancer screenings.
Despite these statements, which are inconclusive in themselves, it is clear that there is value in the safe efficient practice of screening patients for skin cancer. I've done it every day for more than 20 years and I know from experience how valuable it is. This is especially true for fair people who burn easily, those with lots of moles, spots and freckles and those who have a family or personal history of skin cancer.
This ten minute exam is more than worthwhile.
Here are five reasons why:1. All skin cancers, including melanoma, are curable in their early stages.
2. Dermatologists are trained to efficiently distinguish between benign, pre-malignant and malignant lesions allowing for the strategic use of surgery only when necessary.
3. Undetected skin cancers grow and cause harm, disfigurement, even death.
4. Skin exams are painless. There is no radiation exposure like in a mammogram, there is no invasive procedure like a colonoscopy.
5. As for cost, free skin exams are offered at least yearly throughout the country, sponsored by the American Academy of Dermatology.
What do you have to lose?