Skin Cancer Prevention and Screening

Keeping skin cancer at bay in San Diego

A smiling doctor, nurse and patient represent the importance of skin cancer screening and prevention.

Dr. Kenneth Shimizu, Scripps Cancer Center, Scripps Clinic and staff

Keeping skin cancer at bay in San Diego

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer among both men and women. According to the American Cancer Society, 5.4 million basal and squamous cell skin cancers are diagnosed each year. Doctors do know some causes of skin cancer, as well as ways to help prevent it. Continue reading below for more about skin cancer risk factors, prevention and screening, as well as the benefits of early detection. 

Scripps Cancer Center provides a full range of services to diagnose and prevent skin cancer.

Causes, risks and family history

Skin cancer affects more people than any other cancer type. Scripps encourages you to learn as much as possible about skin cancer causes, risks and family history. 

Skin cancer prevention

While skin cancer cannot be completely prevented, you can take steps to protect yourself from UV rays. Screening exams can help find skin cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful.

Benefits of early detection

Early detection of skin cancer, when it’s in an early stage and has not spread beyond the skin, can be easier to treat and lead to more successful outcomes. According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year relative survival rates for basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer and melanoma are close to 100% when detected early.

Preventive screening

Skin cancer screening exams can help find skin cancer in its early stages. Your physician or dermatologist can perform a visual check of the skin for any changes or early signs of skin cancer. A doctor can see areas that may not be visible to you, such as your scalp and back. 

Be sure to discuss your family medical history and relevant health information with your physician, as well as your outdoor activities and use of sunscreens, hats or other apparel that can help protect your skin from harmful exposure to UV rays.

In addition, check your skin yourself at home. If you notice any changes in moles or spots on your skin, or any new spots, have them examined by a dermatologist as soon as possible.