Dr. Hina Altaf Dermatologist

Melanoma Screening

Melanoma Screening

Melanoma, a potentially fatal skin cancer, requires early detection and treatment. Its global incidence is rising. Melanoma Screening continues to be crucial. It is a more serious problem than the more common skin cancers, basal cell cancer or squamous cell cancer. Unlike these cancers, melanoma often will spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. Melanoma can appear on the body as a new mole, or an existing mole that has changed in size, shape, feeling or color, or developed oozing or bleeding.

Everyone should be aware of the signs of melanoma and perform regular self-examinations of their skin. However, some people are at higher risk for developing melanoma and should have regular screenings performed by a healthcare provider.

These include:

  • People with fair skin, red or blond hair, and blue or green eyes
  • People with a history of sunburns or excessive sun exposure
  • People with a personal or family history of melanoma
  • People with a large number of moles or atypical moles

When should you have a melanoma screening 

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that all adults have a full-body skin examination performed by a healthcare provider at least once a year. However, if you have a history of melanoma or are at high risk for the disease, your healthcare provider may recommend more frequent screenings.

During a melanoma screening: 

During a melanoma screening, a healthcare provider will examine your skin from head to toe, looking for any suspicious moles or lesions. They may use a dermatoscope, a special magnifying device, to examine the skin in more detail. If they find any suspicious moles or lesions, they may perform a biopsy, in which a small sample of tissue is removed for further testing.

The signs of melanoma can include:

  • A mole that is asymmetrical, with one half that doesn’t match the other half
  • A mole that has irregular borders
  • A mole that is larger than a pencil eraser
  • A mole that is changing in shape, size, or color
  • A mole that is black, brown, or multiple colors

It is important to remember that not all melanomas follow these patterns, and that any mole or lesion that is changing or looks different from other moles should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.

The most important way to lower your risk of melanoma is to protect yourself from exposure to UV rays. Practice sun safety when you are outdoors. If you have concerns about melanoma or have a personal or family history of the disease, talk to your healthcare provider about scheduling a melanoma screening. Early detection and treatment can improve your chances of a successful outcome. 

Minimal Downtime

You can return to your daily routine immediately after

Immediate Results

Results within 24 to 48 hours, with full results in 30 days

Painless Procedure

Brief period of discomfort during the injection, similar to a pinch

Results That Last

Effects typically last for several months

Melanoma screening involves a thorough examination of the skin by a healthcare professional to identify any suspicious moles or growths that may indicate melanoma, a type of skin cancer. The screening aims to detect melanoma at an early stage when it is most treatable.
Melanoma screening is recommended for individuals who have an increased risk of developing melanoma. This includes people with a personal or family history of melanoma, those with numerous or atypical moles, fair-skinned individuals, and those with a history of excessive sun exposure or UV radiation.
The frequency of melanoma screening depends on your individual risk factors and the recommendation of your healthcare professional. In general, individuals at higher risk may be advised to have regular skin examinations, often annually or more frequently. It's important to discuss your risk factors and screening schedule with a dermatologist or healthcare provider.
During a melanoma screening, a healthcare professional will visually examine your skin from head to toe, including areas that are not typically exposed to the sun. They will check for any suspicious moles, lesions, or changes in existing moles. In some cases, they may use a dermatoscope, a handheld device that magnifies the skin, to get a closer look at specific areas of concern.
If a suspicious mole or lesion is identified during a melanoma screening, a healthcare professional may recommend a biopsy. A biopsy involves the removal of a small sample of the suspicious area, which is then examined under a microscope to determine if it is cancerous. Further diagnostic tests and treatment options will be discussed based on the biopsy results.
Melanoma Screening

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Dr. Hinah Altaf’s clinic is currently at Gargash Hospital, 145 Umm Suqeim Street – Umm Al Sheif -Dubai.