Three Reasons You Want to Detect Skin Cancer Early
Cancer is a scary word for any patient to think about, let alone hear at a doctor's office. However, with today's advancements in technology, cancer can be beat. Early detection and diagnosis is a powerful tool in catching cancers during its early stage. With skin cancer, this is especially important. Skin cancer is the only cancer that is visible, because it begins on the outer surface of your body and can be detected. As a lab specializing in dermatopathology in Pittsburgh, PA, we have seen countless lab tests diagnosing skin cancer in its earliest stages. This is relief to both doctors and patients, as early detection and diagnosis is critical for three main reasons
Understand Risk Factors and Signs
One of the primary causes of skin cancer is overexposure to UV radiation, which can be from sunlight or tanning beds. Those who spend more of their time outdoors in the sun should check frequently for skin abnormalities or changes. It is recommended that patients perform self-examinations on a monthly basis. People who have a personal or family history of skin cancers are also at a greater risk for developing the cancer themselves. In addition to this, exposure to chemicals, such as arsenic, should see a physician about potential skin damage. Those who are taking an immunosuppressant or other drug treatment should be aware of the risks associated with those medications, which often weaken the immune system, making skin cancer growth possible.
Catch it in Early Stages
By performing self-examinations frequently, dermatologists hope that patients will be able to detect any suspicious or irregular growths or changes on their skin. This is the first and crucial step to diagnosis, for it is often what brings patients into the doctor, despite the fact that everyone should see a physician on a regular basis. Staging cancers is a powerful tool that helps physicians deliver the most appropriate care, treatment plan, and risk assessment for their patients. When cancers are caught in their early stages, such as one and two, they are still localized, and therefore patients are given a better prognosis and a less aggressive course of treatment.
Avoid Harsh Treatment
Unfortunately, when time passes, cancers have time to spread and infect many organs in the body. Once a cancer spreads to the rest of the body, it becomes more difficult to fully extract. Luckily, many skin cancers are extricated using a simple surgical procedure. These are the cancers that are caught early and that have stayed localized to only the affected area. Whenever time passes and the cancer spreads, dermatologists and oncologists often recommend harsher, more aggressive treatments that are difficult on the human body and can take longer. These include radiotherapy, topical drugs, photodynamic therapy, and more intense procedures and drugs. These treatments can be avoided with early detection.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, but it is also the most visible. This makes it one of the more curable cancers -- if diagnosed and treated early. As a lab specializing in dermatopathology in Pittsburgh, PA, we provide our physicians with accurate and reliable lab results so that they can provide the best course of treatment for their patients. Contact us today to hear about our quality lab services.