Skin cancer is one of the most common types of human cancer. Although it is much more common in people with fair skin, people of all ethnic backgrounds can develop skin cancer. Wearing board-spectrum sunscreen and avoiding unnecessary sun exposure reduces a person’s risk of developing skin cancer. Sun bathing and especially using tanning booths increases a person’s risk of developing skin cancer. Other factors that increase a person’s risk of skin cancer include having greater than 50 moles, a positive personal or family history of skin cancer, or even breast or thyroid cancer. Rates of malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, are on the rise. Once thought to be a problem of elderly men, malignant melanoma is one of the most common forms of cancer in young adults and adolescents.
The good news is skin cancer is easily preventable and is usually curable if detected early. During a skin cancer screening, a full body examination will be performed. If a suspicious lesion is identified, it will be biopsied and sent to a laboratory to be prepared for examination by a dermatopathologist.