The importance of cancer screenings in Perrysburg and Fremont, OH, for people of all skin colors
You may think the “face” of skin cancer is a pale, freckled, redheaded, or blonde person who never tans, always burns. The truth is, skin cancer can affect anyone, yes, even people of color. Dr. Hope Mitchell has almost a quarter-century of experience treating a diverse range of patients who reflect all skin types and skin tones. This unique and considerable expertise puts you and your family in the best possible position to detect and prevent skin cancers early when they are easiest to treat successfully. From its Perrysburg and Fremont, OH offices, Mitchell Dermatology works closely with patients on screenings and on specific techniques and products that are best to protect their skin health and overall health.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you have at least one professional exam by a qualified dermatologist, such as Dr. Mitchell, each year. This recommendation applies to all people, including those who do not have traditional “risk” factors (such as skin that burns quickly). Our full-body exams will look for any abnormalities that may require further evaluation. These exams are completed most privately and professionally. Generally, we’re looking for unusual spots or growths in those areas of the body that are exposed to the harmful ultraviolet light from the sun’s rays. These areas may include the shoulders, arms, and calves. We take special care with those areas that are harder for patients to reach or to see; for instance, the top of the head among patients who have shaved their heads or who are balding, or the back.
Additionally, the AAD reports that people of color tend to develop skin cancers in those areas of the body that are not exposed to the sun. So, it is critical to select a skin specialist who understands these nuances and risk factors that vary from person to person. In these cases, Dr. Mitchell may be looking for anomalies in areas such as:
- The palms of the hands
- The soles of the feet
- Inside of the mouth
- Underneath fingernails or toenails
One of Dr. Mitchell’s philosophies is to empower patients with knowledge and experience that they can apply when conducting self-skin checks at home. If you see any changes, such as spots that suddenly itch or bleed or that are growing in size, contact us immediately to schedule your evaluation at one of our two offices.
Patients of color tend to be diagnosed with skin cancers later in the disease process when it is more difficult for cancer to be treated. Overall, the 5-year survival rate, even for the deadliest of cancers (melanoma), is 98% if the cancer is localized and hasn’t spread. Among those whose melanoma has spread to distant lymph nodes and organs, the 5-year survival rate plummets to 23%.