Every year, millions of people are diagnosed with varying types of skin cancer, whether basal cell, squamous cell, or melanoma. Early detection is the number one way to ensure full recovery from cancer, and the best way to ensure that early detection is with a full skin/body exam. You can and should do one for yourself, carefully checking your skin over from head to toe for unusual moles, lesions, skin growths, sores that refuse to heal, etc. If you do this regularly, you’ll be better equipped to notice a change in your skin that could be cancerous. However, the best type of skin cancer screening is scheduling a full body exam with a dermatologist at least once a year or more if you have a history of skin cancer or spend a lot of time outdoors. Even if you wear appropriate skin protection that includes a hat and sunscreen, you can still develop skin cancer, so regular skin cancer screening should be a part of your yearly health-care routine.
During a full body exam, a dermatologist will examine you from head to toe, starting with your scalp and then observing everything from your ears all the way to the soles of your feet. Crucially, if you do this every year, your dermatologist will have a patient record for you on file and will be able to determine, for example, if a particular mole that may be somewhere you can’t see (such as your back) has changed color or size over the course of the year. Your dermatologist will assess freckles, lesions, skin tags, etc. He or she will also discuss any specific concerns you may have and address them accordingly, such as a sore that refuses to heal or which keeps reopening.
At the Skin Cancer and Cosmetic Surgery Center of NJ, we specialize in skin cancer screening. Dr. Adriana Lombardi has extensive experience in the field of dermatology and prides herself on doing very thorough full body examinations. Our goal is early detection. The earlier we can detect precancerous lesions and then schedule you for treatment at our state-of-the-art Edison, NJ, facility, the higher your chances of a full recovery. While we know that the thought of skin cancer is frightening, the best defense is a good offense, so schedule your appointment for a full-body exam today!
- What should I do to prepare for my full body exam?
It is recommended that you come with no makeup, nail polish, hairspray or other products. The goal is for us to be able to clearly see your skin and that includes your scalp and nails, where you can also get cancer. Dr. Lombardi will carefully examine all these areas.
- Do I have to get undressed?
We want you to feel comfortable. If you prefer to not undress, we will check whatever body parts we are able to examine. It is better to get a limited exam than to not get one at all. To do a full body examination, you can wear your undergarments and will be provided with a gown to wear in the exam room.
- What does it mean if Dr. Lombardi wants to do a biopsy?
Dr. Lombardi may recommend doing a biopsy on something that may look atypical. That means we’ll send a small piece of skin to the laboratory so that the cells can be examined under the microscope. The biopsy may come back completely normal. We will call you in about two weeks when we get the results from the laboratory.