May marks Melanoma Awareness Month, a crucial time to educate ourselves about the most dangerous type of skin cancer. In Arizona’s sunny climate, where residents are exposed to high levels of ultraviolet rays year-round, understanding the risks and taking preventive measures are particularly important.

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While skin cancer is unfortunately common among millions of Americans, early detection, especially of aggressive types like melanoma, can significantly improve the prognosis. In fact, melanoma boasts a remarkable five-year survival rate of 99%.

Chances of Diagnosis

Fair-skinned individuals and those with a history of excessive sun exposure or a large number of moles are at heightened risk for melanoma. It’s crucial to remain vigilant for symptoms such as new moles, changing spots, and abnormal patches, especially if you have any of the following risk factors: use of tanning beds, more than 50 moles, blonde or red hair, light eye color, skin that freckles or sunburns easily or a family history of melanoma.

Dr. Karan Lal specializes in adult and pediatric dermatology and serves as the Director of Pediatric Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery at Affiliated Dermatology.

Early Detection

Fortunately, the survival rates for melanoma and other skin cancers are incredibly high when detected early. Regular screenings, often covered by health insurance, are essential for high-risk individuals or those with a family history of skin cancer. One of the most effective methods for early detection is the full-body skin exam, recommended annually. During a full-body skin exam, a dermatologist or other healthcare provider will look over your entire body to check for signs of skin cancer or other skin conditions. This visual inspection of your skin will thoroughly cover often neglected areas such as the scalp, behind the ears, under the arms, and between the toes. Eczema, psoriasis, and skin infections can also be identified during the exam. For most people, the process is completed in 10 to 30 minutes.

The cost of these screenings varies based on the exam type and healthcare provider. Basic screenings, which involve visual inspections, are typically less expensive. In contrast, more complex procedures, such as biopsies, are performed if initial results indicate a potential concern and require a more detailed examination. Mohs surgery, specifically used to remove skin cancer, is performed when precise excision of cancerous tissues is necessary, guided by immediate microscopic examination of the removed tissues.

Another factor that can affect skin cancer screening expenses is an individual’s insurance coverage. Some insurance plans require meeting a deductible before offering coverage, while others may involve a set copay or coinsurance rate after the deductible has been met. Additionally, some forms of health insurance may cover all or part of the cost of a skin cancer screening, particularly if a patient’s family has a history of skin cancer. To avoid unexpected expenses, it’s advisable to inquire with your insurance provider beforehand about how a screening is covered under your plan.

Leave No Skin Cancer Undetected

This Melanoma Awareness Month, join us in our “Leave No Skin Cancer Undetected” campaign at Affiliated Dermatology. We are dedicated to the early detection and treatment of skin cancer through comprehensive screenings. Our expert dermatologists provide thorough examinations, from head to toe, including commonly overlooked areas. Schedule your skin exam today and take a proactive step towards protecting your health. Early detection saves lives – let’s ensure no skin cancer goes undetected.


Protecting your skin is the first step in avoiding melanoma and related cancers. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, avoid tanning beds, and cover up with clothing, hats, and sunglasses. It is also crucial to regularly check your skin for changes, including new moles or changes in existing ones.

Take charge of your skin health this Melanoma Awareness Month. Schedule a skin check with a dermatologist to ensure early detection and proper treatment. Your skin is your body’s largest organ—protect it, check it, and get screened regularly.

Dermatology offices in Arizona, like Affiliated Dermatology®, are open and committed to providing all patients with dermatological services. Their staff of dermatologists is available to help diagnose and treat many types of skin cancers and other conditions that affect millions of Americans every year.

AuthorDr. Karan Lal specializes in adult and pediatric dermatology and serves as the Director of Pediatric Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery at Affiliated Dermatology. Physician owned and operated, Affiliated Dermatology® provides an unmatched patient experience to Arizonans. Founded in July 2002 by Dr. Richard L. Averitte, Jr., Affiliated Dermatology®️ is a full-service dermatology group with nine locations providing skin cancer prevention and treatment, medical and aesthetic dermatology services, and allergy testing. Our team is committed to inspiring and empowering you to make educated, healthy decisions about skincare.