Each year, more skin cancers are diagnosed than any other form of cancer. Skin cancer is easy to detect if you examine your skin carefully on a regular basis. You should do everything you can to ensure that skin cancers do not form, in addition to detecting any skin cancers that do appear in your body.
Take the time to examine your own skin at least once every 30 days. Your doctor should also perform a skin examination during your regular physicals, and carefully diagnosing any irregularities that you notice. You can easily examine your own skin for signs of cancer, quickly and without any pain.
When you do your first self exam you will want to take your time to really get a good look at your skin and all the different characteristics. Make sure you are in a well lit area with a full length mirror. There will likely be areas that are difficult to see with just one mirror, so have a hand mirror ready to use also. Getting a good look at what your skin looks like now, cancer free, will be the best way to compare future checks when looking for changes in your skin. When examining your skin, take note of anything you hadn’t noticed before.
Begin with your face and work your way down methodically and systematically. You may need some help for those areas that are hard to see. If you have a spouse or very close friend they can check your lower back and top of the thigh area for you. If there is no one to help you can use a handheld mirror to see those areas.
When concerned about the possibility of skin cancer examine carefully the areas that are often exposed to the sun. Look for changes in the character of any abnormality such as the shape or size of a mole or discoloration. Medical drawings and photos are available to guide you in the different types of skin cancers.
You should become familiar with the way skin cancer looks. If you find something that is suspicious you should show it to your doctor immediately. It may be nothing but the only way to know for sure is to have a professional look at it. Early skin cancer detection is the key to eliminating it on your skin.
The lighter your skin the more careful you need to be. Some ways to protect your skin include wearing sunscreen, covering exposed skin, and wearing hats. These precautions, along with knowing what skin cancer looks like are your best defenses.