Early detection is the best way to combat cancer and a number of other issues that can start on the skin. The Skin Cancer Foundation actually recommends that you practice head to toe skin checks on your skin every month. This will allow you to get used to how your skin looks on a normal day so that if anything changes, you will recognize it right away. When you do at home skin checks, it will be easier to notice any changing lesions or areas that might end up being precancerous.
Make your self-exams a habit and do them at the same time each month so you do not forget. Once a month is ideal for most people, but some doctors will recommend that you do it more often. It might be helpful to have a full body exam with your doctor first so you can find out if you need to watch any freckles, moles or other areas. Self-exams should not take any more than 10 minutes, which is a very small amount of time to dedicate to such an important exam on a monthly basis.
As you complete the at home skin checks, you will want to take note of any freckles or moles that change in size or color. If they get bigger or seem abnormal in shape, you need to contact your doctor as soon as possible. You will also want to look for any lesions that appear suddenly, especially if you have been out in the sun.
Skin cancer is a highly treatable disease when caught early. If the disease is not caught, it can spread and get much worse. Doing the self-exams is a great way to combat skin cancer. If you are out in the sun often, it is even more important to do these exams.
When you are conducting the exams, keep in mind if you can spot something, you can stop something. If the possible skin cancer is something you can visually see as a change in your skin, then it is something that can be stopped from spreading into other areas. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and it afflicts more than 2 million Americans on an annual basis, with the numbers only rising. When it is stopped early, it is easy to cure. If it progresses, it can lead to disfigurement or even death.
If you look at skin cancer in that light, easily treatable when caught early, it makes the monthly self-exams all that much more meaningful. For ten minutes a month, you can potentially save yourself from a lot of trouble later. You should know your body and your skin better than anyone else. You can be the one to spot changes first, if anything were to come about that might be precancerous.
At Dermatology Associates, we can offer early treatment options as well as prevention tips to ensure you stay safe from skin cancer. Contact Dermatology Associates today to schedule your consultation with one of our clinicians.