For many diseases and conditions, regular screening makes sense.
Melanoma is an extremely aggressive form of skin cancer. Left untreated, it can cause death.
If doctors catch melanoma early — before it spreads to other parts of the body — it has a 98 percent five-year survival rate.
You should screen yourself for unusual skin changes monthly, and you should ask your doctor to check your skin every year.
If you have any risk factors for melanoma or other skin cancers, you should schedule a screening right away.
A skin cancer screening is a visual inspection of your skin by a doctor who knows the signs of skin cancer. These screenings usually take less than 30 minutes.
UPMC CancerCenter offers free skin cancer screenings on the third Friday of every month at Hillman Cancer Center. To make an appointment, call 412-692-4724.
Exposure to the sun and ultraviolet (UV) radiation may increase your risk for getting skin cancer or melanoma.
Using sunscreen can protect against basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. It's less clear whether sunscreen reduces melanoma risk.
Other skin cancer prevention tips include:
If you would like to learn more about melanoma and skin cancer care at UPMC CancerCenter, please call us at 412-647-2811.