About Skin Cancer Screenings
The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that 20% of Americans will get skin cancer. The high incidence of skin cancer means that routine skin exams are very important, particularly when you've got a family or personal history of skin cancer. Detecting skin cancer early on is vital; you will have many more treatment options, and the prospects for positive outcomes are higher. Tracy Evans, M.D. offers complete skin cancer exams, as well as biopsies of abnormal growths and many innovative skin cancer procedures. As part of her medical training, she spent two years exclusively studying skin cancer and is certified by the American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery. As a board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon, she is passionate about the prevention and treatment of skin cancer. To schedule a skin cancer exam with Dr. Evans, contact Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology Corte Madera.
Types of Skin Cancer
Dr. Evans searches for four kinds of skin cancer in a skin cancer exam:
- Actinic Keratoses (AK): This sort will typically form at 40 years of age or older on regions of the skin that have been consistently exposed to sunlight — like the head, throat, hands, and arms. AKs look like scaly, dry areas and are generally deemed precancerous since they have the capability to become squamous cell carcinoma.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC): The most common kind of cancer, BCC can develop anywhere on your skin and might look like a pink spot or as a pearl-sized, flesh-colored lump. BCC must be treated because it has the potential to develop into the bones and nerves, resulting in disfigurement and damage.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): SCC is the second most common type of skin cancer. It develops on the areas of skin that get the most UV exposure and looks like scaly spots; firm, red lumps; and/or sores that never quite heal. SCCs need to be eliminated to avoid disfigurement and damage.
- Melanoma: This sort of cancer appears abruptly as a dark area on the skin. Dr. Evans uses the ABCDE list to identify melanoma — Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, Evolving. Based on information from the Skin Cancer Foundation, just 1% of skin cancer is a melanoma, but melanoma causes the most skin cancer deaths. This is why melanoma needs to be treated quickly once it's diagnosed.
"Friendly, efficient and competent! I have been coming here for 3 years and have had serious dermatologic work and diagnostics and a cosmetic procedure . I have every confidence in the expertise of Dr.Evans and her staff."- C.M. / Google / Nov 11, 2020
"Friendly, efficient and competent! I have been coming here for 3 years and have had serious dermatologic work and a cosmetic procedure. I have every confidence in the expertise of Dr.Evans and her staff."- C.M. / Google / Nov 03, 2020
"I highly, highly recommend Dr. Evans as a doctor for skin cancer. She really knows her stuff and is trained in Mohs surgery (not many dermatologists are!). I really appreciate that she uses the latest technology to keep track of any spots on your skin and has a suspicious eye. I have had doctors in the past who did a quick skin check and literally missed the mark. I can’t really speak to the more cosmetic aspects of her practice, but I do not like how products are offered to me at the end of my appointment. Without being upfront about their cost or the fact that products are not returnable, Dr Evans’ assistant will present the products she recommends I purchase at the end of my appointment. (There is a small sign by the register about the return policy.) I know that these are vetted products and they must help her practice thrive, but I wish I could be offered either a drugstore alternative or a pharmacy prescription option. I’m sure the cost is not an issue for many of her patients, but it is for me and I am simply not able to do what she recommends as far as products are concerned. However, I find her to be so incredibly smart and trustworthy when it comes to skin cancer that I can simply overlook this part of the appointment."- E.R. / Yelp / Aug 18, 2020
"Today was my first time visiting Pacific Skin in Corte Madera. From the moment I arrived, it was an experience of friendliness and professionalism...both of the receptionists welcomed me so kindly, the medical assistant was very pleasant...and when Krystal Shin, my dermatologist came in, I felt I was in the BEST hands. She was so kind, informative, and professional. Even though I wasn’t feeling the best, they made me comfortable and confident that I would be just fine. I am so happy I found Pacific Skin. Thank you for a great experience!"- C.C. / Yelp / Jun 29, 2020
"An amazing staff working with a cutting edge doctor make up this team of talented artists. I feel lucky to be a client each time."- M.D. / Google / May 29, 2020
Women and men of all ages can develop skin cancer. While those with lighter complexions are at higher risk, all skin types and tones are vulnerable to some degree. Dr. Evans recommends that everyone should do routine self-checks of their skin with the ABCDE list so that they know what's there and if anything changes. You should schedule a skin cancer screening whenever you're worried that an area on your skin has changed, bleeds, itches, or is sore. If you or a close relative has or had skin cancer, you are at higher risk and should schedule yearly skin checks.
At your skin cancer screening appointment, Dr. Evans will examine your entire body for moles, birthmarks, and any other abnormal growths. She might make a map of your spots to indicate regions of concern and also to readily identify new growths at future appointments. Dr. Evans will explain to you how you can perform self-exams between visits.
If Dr. Evans finds any suspicious or concerning spots, she might perform a biopsy. She will numb the region and then remove a tiny sample. The sample will be mailed to a pathology laboratory for evaluation. After Dr. Evans gets the pathology report, you'll be contacted to hear the results.
What to Expect
Following your examination, Dr. Evans will speak with you about your skin and make recommendations. She will also tell you when you need to come back for your next skin exam.
Should you require a biopsy of a strange spot, there's a possibility of scarring. However, Dr. Evans is very experienced and will do her best to minimize the incision and remove the thinnest skin sample. She will also tell you the best method for taking care of your skin following the biopsy to help your skin heal properly. With good maintenance, the incision should fade so that it's hardly visible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I identify the ABCDEs of skin cancer?
The ABCDEs of skin cancer include Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, Evolving. Cancerous moles may appear in an irregular shape in which one side does not match the other. They may also have jagged or blurred borders, as well as non-uniform coloring, with different shades of black, brown, or tan. They are often more than six millimeters in diameter, and they can evolve, meaning the size, shape, and color can all change.
When should I receive a skin cancer screening?
Dr. Evans is a dermatologist and skin cancer specialist. She recommends that patients receive skin cancer screenings annually or bi-annually. It is also important to get a screening if you notice any changes, itching, or bleeding of lesions or moles. The early detection of skin cancer is key to successful treatment so it is crucial that you seek proper care at the first sign of irregularity. If you are concerned or have any suspicion that a mole or lesion might be cancerous, the best course of action is to schedule a screening.
When is a biopsy necessary?
During the first step of a skin cancer screening, we will closely review any part of the skin that appears abnormal. If we observe anything that might be cancerous, then a biopsy can be taken. The biopsy is the step that confirms or denies whether cancer exists. Very few cancers are definitively diagnosed by simply looking at it.
If skin cancer is identified, what is the next step in treatment?
Cancer screenings and biopsies are the first steps to finding skin cancer early. If found, removal of all cancer cells is your best bet to reduce the chance of the cancer spreading. Our practice works with patients on screenings, biopsies, diagnoses, and treatments. We can provide several topical treatments, laser removals, and surgical removals. Dr. Evans is a certified Mohs surgeon who is skilled and experienced in removing most types of skin cancer.
Early Detection is the Key
The two most important factors in successfully combating skin cancer are knowing your risk level and ensuring early detection. If you're due to get a yearly skin exam, schedule an appointment with Dr. Evans at Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology Corte Madera. She is passionate about educating her patients on the importance of yearly exams and has years of specialized experience in diagnosing and treating skin cancer.
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