Screenings could aid early detection and treatment of skin cancer

Baptist Health Lexington. January 13, 2023

One out of five Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70. 

LEXINGTON, KY (Jan. 12, 2023) – First lady, Jill Biden’s surgery to remove cancerous lesions from her face on Wednesday is a good reminder of the importance of regular skin cancer screenings.

One out of five Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70. Anderson, Boyle, Clark, Franklin, Jessamine, Lincoln, Madison, Powell and Woodford counties are higher than the state average in skin cancer, according to the Kentucky Cancer Registry.

But, getting screening tests regularly may find cancers early, when treatment is likely to work best.

If you’re a sun lover, have a family history of skin cancer or have moles, you may need skin cancer screening as early as your 20s. You should check yourself regularly for changes in in moles, birthmarks or other pigmented areas, and report any worrisome changes or suspicious areas to your healthcare provider or dermatologist.

“It’s a good idea to start with a baseline examination so you can track any changes in your skin that may need further scrutiny,” said Drew Shirley, MD, surgical oncologist and general surgeon at Baptist Health Lexington. “Regular skin checks are most important for those who’ve already had skin cancer.”

Symptoms of skin cancer may include:

  • A new bump, scaly patch, sore or spot that does not heal after two weeks
  • A spot on your skin that changes, itches or bleeds
  • A mole that changes size, shape or color

To reduce your risk of developing skin cancer from environmental causes, a good place to start is avoiding or limiting exposure.

For example, to lessen your cancer risk due to exposure to UV radiation, you can avoid sun lamps, tanning beds and take steps to protect your skin against the sun.

Baptist Health Lexington is known for advanced, superior care for patients with cancer and the diagnosis, treatment and management of skin cancer. Our accredited, award-winning cancer care team includes surgical specialists, nurse navigators, genetic counselors and psychosocial support.

Learn more about skin cancer and our cancer care services at