Skin cancer screening involves a head-to-toe visual exam of your skin to look for abnormal areas that could be cancerous or precancerous. Screening evaluates all your skin, including skin in areas that are not exposed to the sun. Dr. Yalowitz takes samples of any suspicious areas and has them evaluated in a lab.
A screening only takes a few minutes to perform, but it’s one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from skin cancer and receive treatment while the condition is still in its earliest stages.
There are three primary types of skin cancer:
If an abnormal area of skin or an odd-looking mole or lesion is noted during an exam, Dr. Yalowitz takes a small sample, or biopsy, for evaluation in a lab. If cancer cells are present, she can remove the lesion and some surrounding tissue to help prevent the cancer from spreading. In certain circumstances, Dr. Yalowitz will refer patients for Moh's surgery.
During the procedure, the Moh's surgeon removes the visible portion of the lesion and immediately evaluates it under a microscope to determine if the edges of the lesion are free of cancer cells. If some cancer cells extend over this border, the surgeon removes additional areas and evaluates each sample one by one until the border is clear, thus preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.
Avoiding direct exposure to the sun between the hours of 10 am and 4pm goes a long way toward reducing your contact with cancer-causing rays. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher daily, and cover up with clothes, hats, and sunglasses. Do not use tanning beds or lay out in the sun, and avoid burning.
To schedule a skin cancer screening, call Larchmont Dermatology or use the online booking tool.