Getting Back to Routine Healthcare
- Posted on: Sep 15 2021
If we’re completely honest, we have to admit that these past 18 months have been anything but routine. We’ve faced more uncertainty and stress than many of us ever have, and we’re not completely out of the woods just yet. As difficult as it may be for us to start engaging in life as normally as we can, we must. If you have overlooked your routine healthcare since the COVID-19 pandemic began, now is the time to think once again about those screenings you may have missed. Here, we discuss some of the reasons why your annual skin cancer screening should resume.
Anyone Can Get Skin Cancer
More than five million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. This form of cancer has outnumbered all others for the past several years, even with what seems to be greater awareness about the condition. We may know more about skin cancer than we did just a few decades ago, but the statistics do not indicate that we are putting what we know into action. It’s not that we are lacking information or even awareness, but perhaps that we are lacking perspective.
Research has shown that the vast majority of people don’t apply sunscreen properly. And yet, there is a strong belief that using sunscreen lowers the risk of skin cancer. There is also a strong belief that natural skin tone has some protective properties. Basically, most of us think that skin cancer will happen to someone else, not to us. It can happen to us, and our annual skin cancer screenings are one of our best lines of defense against it.
Skin Cancer can Develop Anywhere
Because we link skin cancer prevention to sun habits and sunscreen use, another common misconception that can be held is that skin cancer develops on areas of the body that we expose to the sun. We get skin cancer on our noses or lips, our arms or chest. We don’t expect the spaces between our fingers or toes to be risky. We certainly wouldn’t expect to develop skin cancer on the bottom of the foot or the genitals! But we can. Skin cancer can form anywhere on the body, which is why professional skin cancer screenings carefully observe the top of the head to the soles of the feet.
Risk Increases Over Time
Our risk of skin cancer does not diminish over time, but may increase. The chances of seeing skin cancer are greater as we age because the damage that leads to this disease can stay beneath the skin for decades.
Skin cancer recognition is vital to optimal outcomes from treatment, even when Mohs Micrographic surgery is the chosen procedure. Dermatologists and their patients must work together towards prevention and early diagnosis, and can do so with routine skin cancer screenings.
The American Society for Mohs Surgery is proud to support board-certified dermatologists in their knowledge and use of the Mohs technique. To learn more about our courses and membership, contact us at (800) 616-2767. If you are a patient seeking a Mohs surgeon in your area, visit our directory here.
Posted in: Skin Cancer