Skin Cancer Screening

Skin cancer screenings are for people who are generally healthy, to help them detect skin cancer or precancerous lesions. When melanoma is found in its early stages, the chances of effective treatment and long-term survival are very high.

Australia, which has the world’s highest incidence of melanoma, has conducted an extensive screening program since the 1960s. This program has been credited with a decrease in average tumor thickness, the result of detecting suspicious lesions before they have had the chance to grow.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has performed free skin cancer screenings on over 1 million people since 1985. Of all the biopsies performed on suspicious lesions, 17% were found to be melanomas, most of which were less than 1.5mm thick. Almost 40% of screened patients who had melanoma stated that, if not for the free screening, they would have not otherwise have sought a skin examination.1

Your local cancer center or dermatology department may also conduct free skin screenings. Check with your hospital or health care provider for information.


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1. Koh HK, Norton LA, Gellar AC, et al. Education of the American Academy of Dermatology's National Skin Cancer Early Detection and Screening Program. J. Am Acad Dermatol. 1996;34:971.

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