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Skin Cancer Screening

A dermatologist or skin specialist usually performs skin cancer screening. Use Solv to find top-rated providers in your area who offer skin cancer screening. Solv is convenient and easy to use and allows you to book a same-day appointment with providers and walk-in clinics directly from its website.

What is skin cancer screening?

Skin cancer screening is a visual exam your doctor performs to see whether you have any signs of skin cancer. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a skin cancer screening involves looking for marks on the skin such as moles and birthmarks that have an unusual color, size, shape, and/or texture. If your skincare doctor thinks you may have skin cancer, a biopsy can be performed to confirm whether or not you have cancer.

What is it used for?

Skin cancer screening assesses whether your skin shows any signs of skin cancer. Screening cannot diagnose cancer, says the NIH. Skin cancer can be properly diagnosed using a biopsy.

Why do I need a skin cancer screening?

According to the NIH, skin cancer is easier to treat in its early stages. Skin cancer screening can bring you one step closer to knowing if you have cancer, so it can be effectively treated before it becomes more severe or spreads to other parts of the body.

What happens during a skin cancer screening?

Skin cancer screening usually takes between 10 and 15 minutes to perform, says the NIH.

First, your dermatologist or skincare doctor will ask you to remove your clothing and wear a hospital gown. Then, your doctor will examine your skin from head to toe, including your scalp, behind your ears, and your buttocks and genitals, adds the NIH. If your dermatologist finds any signs of skin cancer, they may order or perform a biopsy to confirm whether the mark or irregularity is cancerous.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

A skin cancer check requires very little preparation. The NIH recommends against wearing makeup or nail polish for your skin cancer screening, given how these cosmetics may cover signs of skin cancer. The NIH also suggests wearing your hair loose so your dermatologist can properly examine your scalp.

Are there any risks to the test?

Skin cancer screenings do come with risks, says the NIH. These risks include getting back false-negative or false-positive results and potential scarring from the biopsy. The NIH adds that finding skin cancer won’t necessarily lead to improved health or a longer life and recommends discussing this test with your doctor beforehand to fully understand all potential risks.

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