We love our days in the sun but there can be a downside, the vast majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun’s UV rays.
The condition is a growing problem but medical science has progressed at an equal pace and most skin cancer’s have a high cure rate, providing the condition is caught early.
At present, there is no national screening programme in the UK, partly due to their being no instant medical test. The only accurate way to test is a visual inspection of your skin by an experienced specialist.
At Skin Care Network, we believe annual screening is essential, an examination every patient should have. Bespoke skin cancer screening is available to high risk patients, perhaps subject to the factors below.
Skin cancer is not discriminatory, so screening should not be but there are risk factors:
- You had a skin cancer at any time in the past.
- A family history involving skin cancer cases.
- An above average number of moles on your body.
- An organ transplant, or weakened immune sytem.
You could substitute “melanoma” for “skin cancer” in personal, or family history, a potentially life threatening type of cancer. Age is a factor, due to accumulated exposure to UV radiation and disease development.
These aspects matter, although young people do get skin cancer and all types of the disease are best avoided. We and our patients believe all skin cancers and every person deserve screening, a patient friendly procedure.
Your Skin Cancer Check
Your screening session should not interfere with your day too much, no debilitating procedures, perhaps half an hour in total.
Ample time for all your skin to be examined by a consultant dermatologist specialising in skin cancer. They may use a dermascope, a hand help microscope with a powerful light, able to capture images and video.
Your consultant can take images for future comparison and in a few cases, could choose a relatively painless biopsy, where tissue analysis will help. This is however becoming less likely, with the latest laser technology able to provide optical biopsies.
Other modern approaches can assist, such as optimal tomography, which uses lasers in the way ultrasound has been used, or electrical impedance spectroscopy, to measure subtle changes unseen cancer cells bring to your skin.
Above all, your consultant will talk to you, learn about your personal and family history, any concerns you have. Skin cancer screening is by nature an individual process, focused on your needs and the condition of your skin.
Skin cancers, from actinic keratoses, to carcinomas, to melanoma are our first concern, we know the importance of early detection. Being examined by an experienced consultant can however bring other conditions to light.
They will all benefit from early care and you could look on your visit as an annual MOT for your skin. In odd cases where a problem is identified, you can be sure that any requirements, including skin cancer treatment will be organised immediately.
Simply give us a call and a visit can be arranged to suit you. This helps us all, screening is the best way to reduce treatment.
- See the facilities in Chelsea: Central London Clinic.
- Visit our centre in Barnet: North London Clinic.
- The range of benefits from: Early Diagnosis.
- Ways to protect your skin: Our Skin Cancer Blog.
For any advice, or to arrange a dermatology appointment, call 020 3535 7850, or send us an email via the Make An Appointment button below.