Tips for Skin Cancer Self-Examination
Skin Cancer Care Specialists | September 6, 2017
When it comes to the different forms of cancer, none is easier to detect than skin cancer. Unlike other forms of cancer that can develop and grow for a while before a patient sees symptoms, skin cancer starts in a visible place—outwardly, on the skin—so as long as you’re regularly looking out for strange or changing spots, you can catch it early. This is why self-examination is so crucial.
To help you know how to examine your own skin for changes and know when it’s time to see a dermatologist, here are some key tips to keep in mind:
- Know What Skin Cancer Looks Like: Skin cancer can appear anywhere on the body, even under toenails or in places that never see the sun. Some of the ways it may appear include scaly patches, dome-shaped growths, sores that don’t heal or heal and come back, brown or black streaks under nails or moles that change or look different from others.
- Know the Warning Signs: The key warning signs that a spot may be troublesome are when it bleeds, itches, changes or differs from the others on your body.
- Remember Spots Could Be Your Only Symptom: A person can have skin cancer and no other symptoms. Just because you feel good doesn’t mean your strange mole or growth doesn’t mean anything. To confirm that it’s nothing to worry about, you’ll want to see a dermatologist.
- See a Dermatologist about Questionable Areas: Any spots that are abnormal, changing or otherwise suspicious should be evaluated by a dermatologist. He or she will need to do a skin biopsy of the area to officially determine whether or not it’s skin cancer—but then you’ll have the answer you need.
If you have a suspicious spot or mole that you’d like to have evaluated, schedule an appointment with us at Skin Cancer Care Specialists today!