What is a skin cancer screening?
A skin cancer screening is a visual inspection of your skin by a medical professional. No blood work is conducted at a screening.
Why are skin cancer screenings necessary? Is the skin cancer screening free of charge?
Skin cancer will affect 1 in 5 Americans, and more than 3.5 million new cases in 2 million people are diagnosed each year. People of all colors and races can get skin cancer. There are many different types of skin cancer, including actinic keratoses (AK), basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. BCC and SCC are the most common forms of skin cancer, but melanoma is the most deadly. With early detection and proper treatment, the cure rate for BCC and SCC is about 95 percent. When melanoma is detected before it spreads, it also has a high cure rate. Regular self-skin exams and a yearly examination by a dermatologist help people find early skin cancers.
Yes. Dermatologists volunteer their time and expertise to provide skin cancer screenings as a free service through the American Academy of Dermatology.
Who will provide the skin cancer screening? Which areas of my body will be screened for skin cancer?
A dermatologist, dermatology resident, or a well-trained non-physician such as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant under the direction of a dermatologist, will perform the skin cancer examination.
Screenings take approximately 10 minutes, including completing the paperwork and getting your skin checked. If the screening is in a private setting, a full-body screening can be provided if you desire. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends full-body examinations whenever possible. If the screening is in a public setting with limited privacy, only exposed areas (face, neck, arms, hands, etc.) will be visually inspected for skin cancer. This is a rapid screening for skin cancer and should not replace or be a substitute for a yearly examination with your physician or dermatologist.
Can I ask the medical personnel to look at my skin for other dermatologic conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, etc.? Why do I have to complete the form?
The screenings are for skin cancer only. Seek advice from your regular dermatologist for other dermatologic concerns. If you do not have a dermatologist, you can locate one in your area by using the Academy's Find a Dermatologist tool or by calling the American Academy of Dermatology toll-free at (888) 462-DERM.
The Registration and Report Personal Health Information (PHI) form is used to record your screening with both the volunteer medical personnel and the American Academy of Dermatology. The document also gives you a record of the screening details and should be used for follow-up treatment with your dermatologist if a suspicious lesion is found. The information provided at the bottom of the form communicates your rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Your signature is required to demonstrate your acknowledgement of these rights.