As early detection can be the difference between life and death, the best way to prevent yourself from becoming another skin cancer statistic is to self-examine your skin early as well as by a doctor. The Skin Cancer Foundation highly recommends that everyone, regardless of age, practice a monthly self-examination of their skin.
Step 1: Examine Your Skin
When performing self-examination, be sure to evaluate each and every inch of your skin. Use a mirror to evaluate the hard to see areas such as the genitals, anal region, between toes and other challenging areas.
- Examine your face – especially the nose, mouth, lips, and ears.
- Inspect your scalp – use a blow dryer to expose every section of your head
- Check your hands – palms, backs, between the fingers and under the nails.
- Examine the elbows and work your way through the upper arms and underarms.
- Inspect the chest, neck and torso region.
- Check your back, neck, upper back, upper arms and shoulders.
- Scan your buttocks, lower back, and back of both legs.
- Sit down and examine the genital region, legs, thighs, ankles, shins, feet, nails, as well as the soles of the feet.
- Step 2: Check for Basal Cell Carcinoma
One of the most common forms of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma. It is often found on the head, neck and ears as it is the most sun-exposed areas. High risk factors of this includes: excessive sun exposure, tanning beds, freckles, fair skin, high amounts of sunburn blisters, and smoking.
Step 3: Detect For Signs of Melanoma
Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer. Although it can be cured is caught early during the beginning stage, the survival rate for more than a few years in less than 10%. Based on the ABCDE scheme, here’s what to look for”
A – The typical asymmetry of the skin region
B – The border must be crisp and sharp rather than irregular, notched and jagged skin
C – The color of the skin area changes with a sort of tie-dye effect with blues, blacks, and browns
D – The diameter of the lesion is likely to be larger than 6 mm
E – Any sudden evolution or change in appearance.
Step 4: Notice Any Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
Squamous cell carcinoma begins with actinic keratosis which is a precancerous lesion. It appears as a pink or scaly flesh and most commonly found on the neck, head or trunk of the body. The lesions are less than 2 cm and may itch, bleed, and appear as a wound that won’t grow or heal.
Step 5: Search for Lesions
As your self-examine your body, search for any lesions and take a photograph of it. Review the image after a month to look for any change and compare the two. If there are any changes, follow up with your dermatologist.
Step 6: Get a Clinical Diagnosis
Once you have noticed any lesions, you must schedule an appointment to have it clinical checked by a dermatologist. Once a specific kind of cancer has been determined, your doctor will discuss the options and may decide on a surgical excision or a confocal scanning laser microscopy.
Step 7: Treat Early Signs of Squamous Cell Carcinoma
If you have found an actinic keratosis AK lesion, this will need to be treated right away to prevent squamous cell carcinoma.
Step 8: Get Treatment for Other Skin Cancers
Surgical treatment is the primary treatment for skin cancer. The doctor may perform a surgery to cut out all disease skin to eliminate the risk of spread. Skin cancer typically grows in localized areas but may occasionally metastasize.
Step 9: Learn Prevention for Future Risks of Skin Cancer
Take major precautions to protect yourself against future skin cancers. Using safe sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection is the key to protect yourself against sun exposure, which is the main cause of skin cancer.
Each over, there are over 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer that are treated in just 3.3 million of them. When such cases progress, it can become the result of disfigurement as well as death. Be sure to consult your doctor if you notice any abnormalities right away.
Ella James is an aspiring author who is pursuing Health Services Administration degree from St. Petersburg College. She is an active contributor to Consumer Health Digest. Her interests include reading and writing about Health, Fitness, and skincare science. Get connected with her on Facebook and Twitter.