To prevent skin cancer or any similar disease, performing self skin checks is a good habit that will help you detect any cancer sign and consult a skin physician to have it treated on time!
We pray “Prevention saves lives” and we encourage people to take this practice as a regular part of their health care routine, while still insist on alternate self practiced checks with a professional revision.
This article will guide you all the way through a thorough check to ensure a successful practice:
PERFORMING A SELF SKIN CANCER CHECK
GET READY – What will you need?
Make sure you do this properly and take your time. Have with you:
– A full-length mirror
– Well-lit room
– A hand mirror
– A chair
– A picture device or a notebook.
Ready to begin.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Skin cancer signs include:
– Changes in shape, colour, size on any old spot.
– Mole or other skin marks that oozes, bleeds or becomes crusty
– A mole that is painful to the touch
– Sore that doesn’t heal within two weeks
– Shiny pink, red, pearly white, or translucent bump
– Mole or sore with irregular borders, that may bleed easily
Keep a record from every check by taking pictures or noting down to compare between checks number and shape of your skin marks.
STEP BY STEP
- Remove all your clothing and face the mirror to have a clear view of all your body. Proceed by areas. First, look at the front, back, and sides of your legs.
- Check new spots and the state of every mark on your skin. Look at your hands, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
- Sit down and examine your feet, checking the soles and between the toes.
- Help yourself with the hand mirror. Check your scalp using a comb or a hair dryer. Then check your back.
- Then your front side, chest, stomach and neck. Raise your arms and check your sides too. Arms and shoulders tend to be the most sun-exposed areas.
If detected any new or suspicious spot, look further for Melanoma signs.
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and the easiest way to discard from the risks list is by following what we call “The ABCDE guideline” that indicates to look for:
A: is for ASYMMETRY – half of the spot or mark has a different colour than the rest.
B: is for BORDER – the edges are irregular, blurred, notched or ragged.
C: is for COLOUR – different shades of black or brown and sometimes patches of red, white or blue.
D: is for DIAMETER – the area is larger than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) or is growing larger.
E: is for EVOLVING – changes in shape, colour, elevation. Traits such as itching, bleeding or crusting
If any of these description matches your spot, reach a doctor as soon as you can for treatment. Don’t panic. When performed regularly, skin checks help to detect melanoma in early stages and highly increases the chances of successful treatment. Thank yourself.