Find out how to examine your own skin for moles and spots that could be skin cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 61,646 people were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin in 2009 and over 9,000 people died from it. In observance of Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, find out how to check your skin for trouble spots and early signs of skin cancer. Talk to your general practitioner or dermatologist as soon as possible if you spot a suspicious mole or problem area.
Stick to a skin check schedule
Make a point of checking your skin regularly. Many signs of skin cancer are related to changes in the appearance of moles and areas of the skin. To detect a change, you need to be reasonably familiar with how your moles look. Try setting an alert on your computer or phone to check every couple of months. Take pictures if that helps you stay on top of changes to certain moles or areas of your skin.
Visit your dermatologist or general practitioner for a full exam
Nothing can substitute a doctor’s care and careful, knowledgeable gaze when it comes to detecting abnormalities on the skin. According to Medline Plus, treatment is more likely to work well when cancer is found early.
Know the signs of an irregular mole
The National Cancer Center reports that the most common sign of skin cancer is a change to the skin. Look for signs such as moles with more than one color, very dark moles, scabbing or roughness on or around a mole, bleeding and irregular or jagged edges. Bring any changes or concerns to your doctor. It’s best to get a professional opinion or have a biopsy performed, if necessary.
Concerned with a mark on your body? Visit Miami Cancer Center at Mercy Hospital for state-of-the-art cancer services to help patients before, during and after treatment. For more information on The Miami Cancer Center, please call (305) 285-2195.