What Are the Skin Cancer Screening Guidelines for My Age?

As the most common type of cancer, skin cancer isn’t to be ignored. Regular skin cancer screenings are crucial to identify signs of skin cancer, given that this form of cancer may not cause any symptoms in its early stages. Additionally, early intervention can make the difference between a treatable and dangerous case of skin cancer. 

The risk of developing skin cancer becomes greater as you age. Here, we’ll discuss skin cancer screening guidelines and age considerations for skin cancer. 

Skin Cancer in Older Age

Skin cancer is more common in older patients, usually because older adults have been exposed to UV radiation from the sun more than younger people. The majority of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas develop after the age of 50. 

This isn’t to say that younger people can’t develop skin cancer. Skin cancer can also appear at a younger age, especially for people who are at a heightened risk due to:

  • Fair skin 
  • Frequent sunburns/skin that tends to sunburn
  • Weakened immune system
  • High exposure to UV radiation
  • Family history of skin cancer

Skin Cancer Screenings

Skin cancer screenings should be performed once per year for everyone over the age of 20. Anyone who has a heightened risk of skin cancer due to the factors listed above should schedule screenings more frequently, such as twice per year. You should also schedule additional screenings if you notice a questionable mole. 

Unless an abnormal mole is found, skin cancer screenings usually only last 10 minutes. Your doctor will check for mole characteristics that indicate skin cancer, called the “ABCDEs”:

  • Asymmetry
  • Border irregularity
  • Color (non-uniform color)
  • Diameter (over ¼ inch)
  • Evolving (changing over time)

To schedule your yearly skin cancer screening or to check a specific mole, schedule an appointment with Skin and Body Curvatures today.