Skin cancer screening


In skin cancer screening, the birthmarks on the body are examined.

Skin cancer screening is a measure from the field of prevention. The aim of screening is to identify diseases as early as possible. On the one hand, it is about discovering the precursors of the disease before they express themselves with the typical symptoms. In the case of tumors in particular, metastases have often already formed. On the other hand, the aim of the whole thing is to recognize the diseases at an earlier point in time and thus be able to treat them more gently and heal them as completely as possible.

You may also be interested in this article: White Skin Cancer

At the Skin cancer screening it is a optical control the surface of the skin, with the primary aim of identifying skin marks suspected of being cancerous and thus being able to treat them at an early stage. Skin cancer is a very common one and often underestimated disease from which in Germany about 250,000 new patients annually. Since skin cancer usually starts out from a very narrowly defined primary tumor, there is one in this area early detection is important for the later forecast.

A another benefit of the skin is that it can be examined relatively easily and without large technical equipment. This has made the Skin cancer screening meanwhile relatively well established in Germany. Skin cancer that is recognized early is curable in most cases. Of course, screening, which looks for diseases before they cause problems, always has the problem that findings are sometimes recognized and treated that would never have caused problems later. Especially in the area of Skin cancer screenings is this Risk of over-therapy but rather low compared to the advantages of screening. Especially since the effort for the examination is very manageable and the The examination itself is neither painful nor invasive. Also the damage caused by an unnecessarily cut out birthmark arises, is in comparison with the prevention of a tumor disease, probably acceptable for most.

Who is the screening for?

In principle one does Skin cancer screening for every sense. Although the risk is with groups of people who, for example, work a lot work outside and are therefore increasingly exposed to UV radiation. But people who are hardly exposed to sunlight can also develop skin cancer. Of course you should with high sun exposure, be especially careful if you have frequent sunburns, especially in childhood or if you regularly visit a solarium.

There is also certain skin types, especially people with a particularly large number of birthmarks and pigment spots, for the one Skin cancer screening earlier and more often considered useful. The statutory health insurance pays the skin cancer screening in Germany generally from the age of 35. As mentioned above, however, it can make sense earlier for certain skin types. A Assumption of costs by the health insurance is then partially possible with justification by the dermatologist. The one provided by the health insurance company Examination interval is 2 years.

That the Screening only begins from the age of 35 In addition to economic reasons, it has to do with the fact that skin cancer is strongly related Sum of the UV exposure, for life. To that extent that increases The risk of developing skin cancer increases with age. But screening can also be useful for children. In addition to the skin itself, severe sunburns in childhood or other skin diseases can also lead to an increased risk. Strong sunburns in childhood in particular lead to an increase in risk that cannot be compensated for.

Who can perform skin cancer screening?

To that Skin cancer screening To be able to carry out, it takes a special training. This creates a standardized flow of what is paid for by the cash registers Skin cancer screenings guaranteed. Accordingly, the screening continues to offer like especially dermatologists, so Dermatologists on. Of course they also have them greatest expertisewhen it comes to dealing with any findings. But also in Skin cancer screening Further trained family doctors or paediatricians can do that Skin cancer screening to offer. This often has the advantage that the distances to the doctor and the waiting times for an appointment are shorter. In addition, the actual screening is primarily about To discover abnormalities. These can then be presented to a dermatologist for further clarification.

Procedure of the investigation

The examination takes place at Skin cancer screening with the naked eye and includes the whole body. It should be noted that skin cancer is related to exposure to UV radiation, but can also occur in areas of the body that do not receive any sun rays.It is therefore important that the whole body, including the anal and genital regions, is actually examined. Also to the Soles of the feet, toes and spaces between toes or under the fingernails and toenails, there may be malicious findings. These should therefore always be examined. Since the whole body has to be examined, it makes the examination easier if you do without nail polish, strong makeup or elaborate hairstyles, because also Skin cancer can develop under the nails, on the face or on the scalp. Also the Mucous membranes in the area of Mouth or nose should also be assessed.

The investigation will now the entire body initially without aidsExamined piece by piece with the help of a magnifying glass or a bright lamp if necessary. There are various criteria that can indicate that a skin mark could be a malignant finding. The detection in the screening is based solely on criteria that match the Eye and the experience of the examiner can be recognized. Further examinations are only necessary if there are suspicious findings.

Many practices also offer a Documentation of the findings on. Do this by everyone suspicious areas of skin, photos taken and saved. This has the advantage that not only the current condition but also any changes in a skin lesion can be checked. A mole on its own may not seem very suspicious if it has changed a lot since the last screening, but it can be conspicuous. In addition, the recordings made can be taken with you when you move or change the doctor, so that the new doctor also has the opportunity to include the process. This Documentation is usually not provided by the health insurance companies accepted but has to be paid either as a lump sum or for each picture taken.

Self-screening at home

Since that Skin cancer screening If you are only paid from 35 and then only every 2 years, we recommend professional screening by a Supplement self-screening at home. The procedure is similar to that of professional screening by a doctor. Since you should look at the entire surface of the body, it is best to do the examination in front of a full-length mirror after showering or bathing. In the end, it is also about looking at the entire surface of the body and to discover noticeable skin marks. Therefore no special prior knowledge is required. First of all, it is always suspicious if a mole stands out in comparison to the others in its vicinity. Also strong changes in shape or color in a short period of time can be an indication of a malicious event. Another help with the assessment is the so-called ABCDE rule.

ABCDE rule

  • "A" stands for "asymmetry". Benign moles are usually symmetrical in themselves, that is, they can be mirrored on any axis. Mostly they are round or oval.
  • "B" stands for "limitation". Benign moles should be as smooth as possible and should not look frayed.
  • "C" stands for "Colorit", ie the color of the stain. Particularly suspicious are spots that contain many different colors, especially if they contain pink, gray or black spots. Crusty deposits can also be signs of malignant growth.
  • "D" stands for the "diameter". All skin marks larger than 5mm should be seen by a dermatologist.
  • "E" for "evolution", so for how much a mole or birthmark changes. Above all, increase in size, itching or bleeding are suspicious in principle.

Overall, with the help of the ABCDE rule, it is possible to detect many skin changes early and have them checked by a doctor. However, the self-examination should not be seen as a substitute for skin cancer screening by a specialist. It only serves as a supplement to identify and check new findings earlier.

Typical abnormal findings

The Skin cancer screening is used to recognize the three most common skin tumors. A distinction is made between the so-called black skin cancer in the form of malignant melanoma and light skin cancer. To this bright skin cancer belong that Basal cell carcinoma and the Squamous cell carcinoma. All three differ in terms of their course, prognosis and further treatment, but they are good at Skin cancer screening getting discovered. If they are recognized at an early stage, they are easy to treat and, with the help of screening, can often be identified Removed at the time they have not yet metastasized.

Also is that Size of the operating area usually in the case of a tumor recognized early much smaller and the treatment is so gentle.

Even if the skin tumors can often be completely removed and thus cured if detected early, skin cancer should not be taken lightly. Even if it is "only" a skin tumor, it says nothing about the malignancy of the skin tumor, which is in no way inferior to other cancers.