Why Skin Cancer Screening Is Important

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, over five million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year. In fact, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other types of cancer combined.

The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. While basal and squamous cell carcinomas are less likely to spread to other parts of the body, melanoma can be deadly if not caught early.

Early detection is key to successfully treating skin cancer. When detected early, skin cancer is highly curable. However, if left untreated, skin cancer can spread to other parts of the body and become much harder to treat.

Risk Factors for Skin Cancer

Individuals who have any of these risk factors should consider getting screened for skin cancer. Certain factors increase the risk of developing skin cancer. These include:

  • Fair skin
  • History of sunburns
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Personal history of skin cancer
  • Exposure to UV radiation from tanning beds or the sun
  • Weakened immune system
  • Exposure to certain chemicals

Types of Skin Cancer Screening

Visual Skin Exam

A visual skin exam is the most common type of skin cancer screening. During this exam, a healthcare professional examines the skin for any signs of abnormal growth or changes. The healthcare professional will examine the entire body, including areas that are not exposed to the sun, such as the scalp, between the toes, and under the nails.


Dermoscopy utilises a special instrument called a dermatoscope, an instrument that magnifies the skin, allowing the healthcare professional to see the skin's structure and patterns. This method is particularly useful in identifying early-stage skin cancers, as it can detect changes in the structure of the skin that may not be visible to the naked eye.

Total Body Photography

Total body photography involves taking photographs of the entire body to document any changes in the skin over time. This method is particularly useful for people who are at high risk of developing skin cancer, such as those with a family history of skin cancer or those with a large number of moles.

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The ABCDEs of Melanoma

During the visual skin exam, the healthcare professional will look for the ABCDEs of melanoma:

  • Asymmetry: One half of the mole or growth does not match the other half.
  • Border: The edges of the mole or growth are irregular, ragged, blurred, or notched.
  • Colour: The mole or growth has different colors or shades of colour, or areas of black, brown, tan, white, gray, red, or blue.
  • Diameter: The mole or growth is larger than 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser).
  • Evolving: The mole or growth is changing in size, shape, color, or texture.

Discover the Elanic Difference Today

If you suspect that you might be dealing with skin cancer, the importance of early detection simply cannot be overstated. We recommend visiting Elanic Medical in Glasgow for a skin cancer screening as soon as possible. Our facilities are warm and welcoming, and our handpicked team of surgeons was carefully chosen to offer you a truly elevated brand of advanced, independent healthcare. If you’re interested in getting started, reach out to Elanic in Glasgow and speak with a helpful staff member to set up your initial consultation today.

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