Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. Skin cancer is also the easiest cancer to cure, if diagnosed and treated early. However, if the skin cancer is allowed to progress, it can result in disfigurement and even death.
Self skin examination:
Who should do skin self examination
- Everyone should! Teach your children how from an early age. With yearly skin examinations by your doctor or dermatologist, self-examinations are the best way to ensure that you won’t become a statistic in the battle against skin cancer.
When to do it:
- It should be done often enough to become a habit, but not so often as to feel like a bother. For most people an interval of three months is ideal. After the first few times, self-examination should take no longer than ten minutes.
What to look for:
There are three main types of skin cancer:
Because each has many different appearances, it is important to know the early warning signs. Look especially for change of any kind. Do not ignore a suspicious spot simply because it does not hurt. Skin cancers may be painless, but dangerous all the same. If you notice one or more of the warning signs, see a doctor right away.
The Warning Signs:
- A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan brown, black, or multicoloured.
- A mole, birthmark, beauty mark, or any brown spot that:
- Changes colour.
- Increases in size or thickness.
- Changes in texture.
- Is irregular in outline.
- Is bigger than 6mm, the size of a pencil eraser.
A spot or sore that:
- Itches or hurts.
- Crusts or scabs.
- Ulcerates or bleeds.
- Fails to heal within three weeks.
What to look at:
- The Self Examination should start with the head and end with the feet.
- Self Examination should include the scalp, face, neck, beneath facial hair and trunk.
- On the upper part of the body, Self Examination should include the armpits, hands, finger webs and nail beds.
- A mirror should be used to examine the back and skin between the buttocks.
- On the legs, It should include toe webs, toe nail beds and soles of the feet.