Skin cancer is prevalent, affecting an estimated one in five Americans during their lifetimes. Fortunately, most skin cancer is also very treatable, especially with early detection. That’s why annual skin cancer screenings are so essential.
At Stone Oak Dermatology, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Linda Banta recommends these routine checkups at least once a year. Here’s why booking your appointment should be at the top of your 2023 to-do list.
1. Early Skin Cancer Detection Leads to Better Outcomes
While it’s tempting to put off a doctor’s visit when you feel fine, your skin cancer screening isn’t one to skip. The most common types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, have excellent cure rates when treated early. Squamous cell carcinoma often starts as precancerous lesions called actinic keratosis that can be removed before developing into cancer.
Melanoma usually sounds scarier to most people since it’s the type of skin cancer with the highest mortality rate. However, melanoma has an impressive 99% five-year survival rate when it’s treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes.
2. You Have Skin Cancer Risk Factors
Certain factors can increase your risk for skin cancer. If any of the following apply, you should schedule your screening:
- You have fair skin, freckles, light eyes, and blonde or red hair.
- You have a personal or family history of skin cancer.
- You have more than 50 moles.
- You experienced at least one blistering sunburn in childhood.
- You’re over the age of 50.
If you have certain risk factors, Dr. Banta might suggest screenings every three to six months.
3. Anyone Can Develop Skin Cancer
While the risk factors above increase your chance of skin cancer, anyone can develop it. One common myth about skin cancer is that you’re unlikely to get it if you have a darker skin tone. However, it’s highly important for people of color to get annual screenings too since skin cancer often presents at a more advanced stage when compared with white patients.
Schedule Your San Antonio Skin Cancer Screening
At Stone Oak Dermatology, Dr. Banta performs thorough head-to-toe skin cancer screenings. While the word “cancer” might always sound frightening, our warm and welcoming team is here to make your annual checkup as stress-free as possible. If you’re ready to take charge of your health, call our San Antonio, Texas office at 210-494-0504 to book an appointment.