A Skin Check Can Save Your Life: Plan a Skin Cancer Assessment and Treatment Today
Skin cancer is often a silent threat. It can occur in otherwise healthy individuals and spread quickly to other parts of the body. The good news is that skin cancer, unlike most other types of the disease, offers visual evidence of its presence in most cases. Moles and spots on the skin can be warning signs of skin cancer and heeding these warnings can save your life. Unfortunately, many people ignore their body’s warnings, and once cancer has metastasised to the blood or organs, it becomes much more difficult to treat. Therein lies the extreme importance of having a skin cancer check on a regular basis.
How Frequently Should You Have a Skin Cancer Assessment?
At Northpoint Medical & Skin Centre, one of the questions we hear most frequently from our patients is ‘How often should I schedule a skin cancer check?’ The answer, in most cases, is every three years. Most experts indicate that having your moles and skin checked every three years is a responsible choice for most healthy adults. Individuals who are ‘at risk’—those who spend a lot of time in the sun, or those who have had skin cancer in the past—should schedule annual visits with specialist skin doctors.
Northpoint Medical & Skin Centre is a skin cancer and mole doctor specialist in Albany, Auckland. We work with patients on a regular basis to provide routine skin checks. If our tests identify cancerous tissue on a patient’s skin, we are also qualified to perform various types of skin cancer treatment. When you come to us for a skin and mole check, you can take comfort in knowing that our doctors will be able to provide whatever you need.
Checking Your Own Skin: How to Identify Potentially Cancerous Moles or Spots
While most doctors recommend that patients have skin checks every one to three years, this timeline still is not foolproof. Cancerous growths can and do often develop on the skin between check-ups. If you notice a suspicious mole or spot on your skin, don’t wait for your next regularly schedule skin cancer assessment. Instead, make an appointment right away, just to be safe.
If you aren’t sure what constitutes a ‘suspicious’ mole or spot, make sure to watch out for these characteristics:
Asymmetry: Most moles or spots are symmetrical, with right/left or upper/lower halves that are even regarding size and shape. An asymmetrical mole is more suspicious and should be checked by a doctor immediately.
Shape/borders: The average mole is a smooth circle. We already discussed the red flag nature of asymmetrical moles, but you should also keep an eye out for moles that have jagged borders, rather than smooth edges.
Colours: Benign moles are typically brown, black or tan. If you notice a mole that is a different colour—such as pink, white, grey or even blue—report it to a skin doctor.
Size: If a mole grows over time, or if it’s notably larger than other surrounding moles, it may be cancerous.
Do you believe you might need a skin cancer treatment? Contact Northpoint Medical & Skin Centre to schedule a skin assessment today.