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Montly Skin Evaluations Can Save You From Skin Cancer

Check Yourself: Skin Cancer Self-Examination

The best ways to spot (and treat) skin cancer is with early detection. Early detection does not always start in the doctor's office, it begins at home. A simple self-evaluation of your skin allows you to detect the early warning signs of basal-cell carcinoma, squamous-cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Try and do the following once a month and look for a new growth or any changes in your skin:

  • Examine head and face, using one or both mirrors. Use blow-dryer to inspect scalp.
  • Check hands, including nails. In full-length mirror, examine elbows, arms, underarms.
  • Focus on neck, chest, torso. Women: Check under breasts.
  • With back to the mirror, use hand mirror to inspect back of neck, shoulders, upper arms, back, buttocks, legs.
  • Sitting down, check legs and feet, including soles, heels, and nails. Use hand mirror to examine genitals.


Join The Conversation
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I always check and if I'm unsure I ask my doctor, thus far everything looks okay.
kia kia 9 years
This has been super easy to do lately. I've been in areas with ticks and have to check for those anyway.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
Self examines are a must; also get a dermatologist to do a full examine. It is key to have a professional also give a your skin an evaluation. I had 2 flat and 1 raised mole(s) removed in Aug'07; all three came back negative for cancer however that made me more aware of my marks. I plan on getting 2 more checked this upcoming month at my dermatologists; better safe than sorry. I'm 17 however growing up I rarely had sunscreen and have had at least 3-4 major sunburns. Cancer also runs in my family. I have to aware of my skin. I've worn sunscreen everyday now since I was 14 however I do worry. All I can do is check my skin monthly and do my best to know what is & is not normal.
emalove emalove 9 years
Very important to do this! This is how I found the skin cancerous mole I had on the back of my right was almost black, looked like no other moles or freckles that I had on my body, and it had "suddenly" popped up. I knew it was suspicious-looking immediately and had it removed.
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