What is a Skin Growth Examination (SGE)?
In our years of practice at Stockton Dermatology in Phoenix, AZ, we always advise our patients with genetic predispositions that early detection is always our best defense against the big C, Cancer. The incidence of people getting skin cancer is increasing at an alarming rate. The sooner we detect it, the better our chances of beating it. Which is why we always encourage our patients to get tested.
One of the best ways to detect if a patient could possibly have skin cancer is through Skin Growth Examination or SGE. This procedure has proven to be very effective in screening patients who may have benign or cancerous lesions that they may not even know were there. We use Dermoscopys on our skin growth examinations. Skin Growth Examinations done at the Stockton Dermatology involves examining the entire body for any suspicious looking growths, lesions, or moles. Your dermatologist will be using a dermascope to scan the skin’s surface. This is a bright light equipped with a magnifying lens that will enable your doctor to closely look at the configuration of the skin irregularities.
A Skin Growth Examination is a painless and very quick procedure that could probably save your life. This has proven to be very valuable in the early detection of different forms of skin cancer including basal and squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
When should you come in for a Skin Growth Examination?
People who are not likely at risk to get skin cancer often are not aware of the signs that they could possibly have it and that they should go seek medical attention if they notice any irregularities in their moles or if they see any skin lesions. We recommend to patients, especially those who have family members with a history of cancer, to make a habit of regular self-exams at home to see any drastic changes in their skin, paying attention to moles and skin growths.
Patients should come in and get a skin growth examination if they have any of the following:
- Presence of any suspicious moles or skin lesions
- If you exhibit early signs of skin cancer such as a growth, a rash or sore that does not heal, or if the appearance of a wart or mole changes
- If you had skin cancer before
- If you have more than 50 moles in your body or if new moles are appearing at a fast rate
- Noticing atypical moles or dysplastic nevi
- If any of your family members have had skin cancer
What are the early signs that I may have a melanoma?
All our doctors at Stockton Dermatology educate our patients about the 5 signs of melanoma which we call the ABCDE rule:
- Asymmetry – call your doctor if one side of the mole doesn’t match the other
- Border Irregularity – if you notice ragged or blurred edges on the mole
- Color – if you notice any irregularity in the pigmentation
- Diameter – see your doctor is the more is larger than 6 mm
- Evolution – if you notice change in size, shape, and symptoms over time