For all the people who were apprehensive about getting themselves screened for skin cancer will now heave a sigh of relief. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recently released a report claiming that the screening may not be of help in reducing the morbidity and mortality rate of skin cancer. The process of visual screening involves a person to undergo a bare skin examination of all the body parts by the clinician which often leaves them feel uneasy.

With this recommendation, the early skin cancer screening will not be mandatory but will only be carried out on an individual’s discretion. So if you had an appointment with your doctor for skin cancer screening and you are already being awkward imagining yourself stripping down for examination, you can actually stop worrying about it.

The task force discussed the potential benefits and harms of visual screening for skin cancer before releasing a crucial recommendation for the clinicians and people at risk of developing skin cancer. Followed by the recommendations chalked down in year 2009, the 2016 version of the updated recommendation has said that the evidence has not been sufficient enough to favor visual screening for skin cancer.

In an era of emerging breakthroughs in preventive medicine, health professionals prefer to adapt interventions to prevent rather than cure a disease. However, in case of skin cancer diagnosis, preventive screening is futile.

Estimated to affect 76,400 in US alone this year, most commonly occurring skin cancer types include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma skin cancer. While basal and squamous cell carcinomas are more common, the mortality rate is manifolds higher for melanoma skin cancer occurrences.

Therefore, until further evidence supporting early skin cancer detection through visual screening being useful, people at risk can invest few bucks on a good quality sun block containing sun protection factor to reduce their likelihood of developing skin cancer.