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Each year, over 2.2 million Americans receive a skin cancer diagnosis. In fact, more people develop skin cancer than any other type of cancer. The good news that unlike many other diseases, skin cancer is highly preventable. And it is highly treatable if detected early! Lifestyle impacts our skin health, as does access to medical resources. Annual skin cancer screenings by a dermatologist can make all the difference in catching the disease in its early stages, leading to more effective treatments and improved outcomes.

When it comes to getting an annual skin cancer screening, it’s a good idea to choose a dermatologist over a general doctor. Dermatologists specialize in treating skin diseases, including skin cancer, making them the go-to choice for skin cancer screenings. Their expertise includes:

When it comes to skin cancer, early detection is critical for achieving high cure rates. You want to see a doctor (dermatologist) who sees skin cancers regularly, not the least because melanomas don’t always look like textbook melanomas. Melanomas can look like normal moles, freckles, or sun spots, and dermatologists are much more likely to identify suspicious lesions quickly so that can be treated without delay, increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome.

What is a skin cancer screening like? A dermatologist will carefully examine your skin — all your skin — for any suspicious lesions or changes in moles and other spots. If necessary, they may perform a biopsy. The dermatologist will also ask you questions about your medical history, sun exposure habits, and skin changes to assess your risk and provide personalized prevention recommendations.

To minimize your skin cancer risk, consider these preventative measures:

The Arizona Skin Cancer Foundation strongly encourages Arizonans to get an annual skin cancer screening by a dermatologist. Scheduling routine appointments and practicing sun safety can significantly reduce your risk and ensure that any concerns you might have are addressed promptly. After all, prevention and early detection are key in the fight against skin cancer.