Skin cancer is far more prevalent than you may expect, so monitoring your skin for changes is vital. The good news is that when it comes to skin cancer, early detection can make a huge difference in treatability. The sooner your dermatologist diagnoses you with skin cancer, the better your likely outcome will be. While self-checks are a great first line of defense, a skin cancer examination can catch what you may not. Here's what to know about skin cancer examinations.
What To Expect During Them
The first thing to know about getting a skin cancer examination is what to expect. During a skin cancer check, a dermatologist will look at your skin from head to toe, including your scalp and between your toes. A biopsy may be taken if you have moles or lesions that look different or have changed since your last exam. If you have experienced any recent skin changes or have moles or lesions that are itchy or painful, make sure to let your doctor know during the skin cancer examination so they can look at that area closely.
How Much They Cost
How much skin cancer checks cost will depend on a few factors. First, health insurance may cover the examination cost, but you may be responsible for a copay. Second, many insurance companies consider dermatologists specialists, so your expenses may be higher. If you don't have health insurance, the costs for a skin cancer examination will vary. Whether you need biopsies will also impact your bottom line. On average, a skin cancer check will cost $150, but there are free and low-cost options that may work for your needs.
How Often You Need Them
How often you need a skin cancer check can vary depending on your need. While there are no set guidelines, if you sunburn easily, have a family history of skin cancer, or have used tanning beds frequently, many experts recommend a skin cancer examination once per year. If you are unsure how often you need to get skin cancer checks, your dermatologist can provide you with more guidance.
Skin cancer examinations are vital, and there are a few things you need to know about them. First, during a skin cancer check, your dermatologist will examine your skin and take biopsies if necessary. Second, how much a skin cancer examination costs will vary depending on whether you have insurance. Finally, how often you need skin cancer checks depends on your risk level and lifestyle.
For more information, contact a company such as Advanced Dermatology of Northern California.