Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer out there. There are an estimated 2.5 million cases diagnosed this year in the United States. Of these cases, almost 100,000 individuals will go on to develop invasive melanoma, which is the most serious and potentially deadliest form of skin cancer.

Important Tips for Finding Skin Cancer

How to Perform Skin Self Exams

Checking your body yourself can help you find skin cancer early when it is your best chance to have it cured. These exams are particularly important if you have been exposed to the sun for long periods of time, or tanning salons, if you have lighter skin that burns easily, you have a family member who has skin cancer, or you were once treated for skin cancer. If you see something on the surface of your skin that looks new or is changing, then you should see a dermatologist.

Know the ABCDEs of Melanoma

The alphabet is a helpful and easy way to remember what you should be looking for during a skin self exam:

A – A is for asymmetry. If you draw a line through a mole, the two halves will not match each other.

B – B is for borders. The borders found on an early melanoma tend to be uneven. The edges can be scalloped or notched.

C – C is for colour. Having a mole with a variety of colours can be another sign. Shades of brown, tan, black, red, blue or grey could appear.

D – D is for diameter. Melanomas will usually be larger in diameter than the size of a pencil eraser, but they could be smaller when first detected.

E – E is for evolving. If you see any change in size, shape, colour, elevation, or other traits or have any new symptoms like bleeding, itching, or crusting, these can be a warning sign.

See Your Doctor for a Screening

You should ask your primary care doctor if you need to go see a dermatologist for a skin cancer screening if you have any concerns or suspicions about your health. If your doctor recommends that you see one, make sure to ask the dermatologist how often you should be checked up on. Some people might need to be screened more often than others. During your screening, the doctor will carefully look at your skin, including the skin on your scalp, to find and examine any unusual marks or moles.

Naturopathie Integrative Clinic in Beaumont offers a variety of holistic, non-invasive treatments and services to help heal your body and improve your general health and wellness. We have a team of professional, committed massage therapists who are highly trained and experienced in treating and relieving tension, pain, and stress in the body. Book an appointment with us for relaxation or a therapeutic massage.