The idea of going to the dermatologist to have a skin cancer check examination can be a little scary for anyone. The unknown of what to expect and what may be found can give anyone anxiety. Talking to your dermatologist before your appointment can help you understand what to expect and what will occur at your appointment to help prevent this anxiety. To help give you a better understanding of what you can expect, read on for some helpful information.
Your Skin Will Be Scraped
The mole or concerning area will be scraped in order to test it. Removing the concerning mole or growth is important, as it can be further tested once it is off of your skin. It is sent to a lab, usually within the office, and is tested to see if it has any cancerous cells in it. You may have to wait for results to see if any further scraping needs to be done, and it can be done while you are still in the office. If there are cancerous cells, the dermatologist will use a scalpel to scrape more of the cells and another layer of skin off to also be examined. It is again sent to the lab to be tested and you may again have to wait to see if further testing needs to be done. This can happen a few different times before other treatments may be necessary.
Surgery May Be Scheduled
If too much scraping has had to occur, but there are still cancerous cells in the skin, you may need to have surgery. A surgical procedure to remove the skin cells that are deeper may be necessary, and you may need an anesthetic in order to get through this procedure. If surgery is required, you are more than likely going to have a scar afterward, and depending on how deep the skin removal surgery was, you may also need skin grafting.
Other Treatments May Be Necessary
Other types of treatments for your skin cancer may end up being necessary. You may need chemotherapy or radiation to kill skin cancer that has spread through the body. These types of treatments may be needed if you have already had other treatments and there are still cancerous cells present.
If you have any suspect moles or suspect marks on the body that have changed in shape, size, or color, get to the dermatologist for a skin cancer exam and to see what treatment options you have.
For more information on a skin cancer examination, contact a professional near you.