Regional Medical Center of San Jose
Regional Medical Center of San Jose offers world-class healthcare to residents throughout the greater San Jose community.

What You Need to Know About Skin Cancer Screenings

May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, which makes it the perfect time to consider how you’re managing your skin cancer risk. Skin cancer screenings are essential to diagnosing cancer early so you can get urgent care before the disease spreads. Get the facts about these life-saving cancer screenings.

Screenings Are Only Visual

Some people avoid skin cancer screenings because they are worried they will involve removing suspicious areas or performing biopsies. In reality, the only thing that happens is a visual inspection of your skin for indicators of cancer. Screenings take only about 10 to 15 minutes each. If your doctor finds an area of skin that he or she is concerned about, you will be referred for additional testing, such as a biopsy, at a future appointment. The most effective type of visual screening is a full body check, in which your entire body is examined for evidence of skin cancer. If you attend a free screening event without a private area, you may only receive a check of your exposed areas of skin.

You Can Perform Your Own Screenings

Monthly self-exams are a good way to monitor your skin between appointments. Take note of any moles that seem to have changed or any lesions that you can’t explain or that are resistant to healing. Be sure to pay close attention to the bottoms of your feet and to use a mirror to check your scalp, two areas where melanomas are common and can easily grow without being detected. Report any concerning changes in your skin to your doctor.

Screenings Can Save Lives

Early detection and urgent care are critical to beating skin cancer, particularly melanomas, which spread quickly. Specially trained doctors can spot the telltale signs of skin cancer earlier than you can in self-exams, so make professional screenings part of your skin cancer risk management strategy.

Regional Medical Center of San Jose provides comprehensive cancer care in our hospital in San Jose, including surgery, radiation, and medical oncology. You can get a referral to one of our physicians and learn more the care we offer at our hospital by calling (888) 762-8881.