October 25, 2012
October 25, 2012
- Fall into Local Fun with Macaroni Kid
- Getting Ready for Halloween?
- 3 Minutes Might Save Your Life
- Disney on Ice Presents Dare to Dream
- Featured Local Businesses
- This Week's Picks
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- Plan Ahead
- Pumpkin Carving Tips
- Mr. Halloweenster Saves the Day!
- After Halloween Checklist
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By: Arlo Miller, MD, PhD
Danilo Rizzuti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The Halloween season provides plenty of spooky images, but perhaps nothing is quite as scary as the facts about Skin Cancer. These three statistics may strike a bit of fear in your heart.
- Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
- Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
Life is busy. We all have commitments that dominate our time, and a skin check just feels like one more thing to add to the list. Is it really worth the interruption to the scheduling chaos?
Patients often are torn between desiring a quick appointment and wanting to make sure that I am thorough. How long should a complete skin examination really take anyway?
One of my mentors used to say that it takes him 90 seconds. That sounded pretty fast, so I did some research and found out that the time required to complete a full body skin exam has actually been studied. In 8 different melanoma clinics around the world, dermatologists were timed doing over 1500 exams. When doing a head to toe uninterrupted exam, it took just over a minute. When dermoscopy was added (a special type of skin microscopy that I routinely use), the time doubled.
So I started trying to keep track of the time it takes me. Given that the whole exam takes just a few minutes, I also decided to see how much extra time it takes to include the scalp.
About 3 minutes. It really does just take about 3 minutes to do the exam. You don’t have to be a speed demon either, my pace was still rather leisurely.
It still seems like a short amount of time, but this is what years of training and experience gives you. A good dermatologist ought to be able to do this in just a few minutes. Even in my own world of medicine, if you came to me to have your annual physical done, I would take twice as long and still be not as good as my neighbors in the building who practice family medicine because as a specialist I focus on the skin whereas they listen to heart and lungs and palpate the liver and spleen on many patients each day. So I can do a much better skin exam than they can, and it will take me a fraction of the time it will take him.
But 3 minutes of focused time to look at your skin is all I need to find a cancer that could potentially kill you.
Miller Family Dermatology is a new Dermatology practice focused on medical and surgical dermatology. Dr. Arlo Miller and his staff primarily help people with skin cancer, melanoma, skin checks, acne, psoriasis, eczema, rashes.
It really is a family operation. Arlo, his wife Johanna, and their two young daughters live right here in Issaquah. Johanna, a registered nurse, is a part of the clinic, and her mother is the office manager. The practice provides skin care for your entire family - accommodating to both young and old alike.
You can connect with Miller Family Dermatology online at www.millerfamilydermatology.com and via Facebook at www.facebook.com/MillerFamilyDerm.
Miller Family Dermatology is a local sponsor (and subscriber) of Macaroni Kid.
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