Arm Yourself Against Cancer With This Advice From Dermatologists
Cancer has become a dirty word in our households. It instills fear in the hearts of everyone – even just to hear it spoken out loud. There isn’t one of us who is safe from this monster who steals away our family and friends. It is time to educate ourselves; whether that is in the form of personal research or earning a masters degree in nursing, I say, it is time we fight back!
Our experts gave us some great advice regarding skin cancer and the steps we can take to encourage an early detection, or better yet, prevention. Read on to see how you can arm yourself against skin cancer.
How do I protect myself from skin cancer?
There are 3 main types of skin cancer. Make sure you understand that any changing mole or new growth should be evaluated.
• Learn the ABCD’s of melanoma to be able to look at your moles.
• Take pictures of your big funny moles on your birthday (can be fun!) and compare any changes to the current year.
• Get an annual skin check.
• Wear SPF protected clothing.
Will you please check my new or changing mole?
If you notice you have a changing mole, you should always ask your Dermatologist to specifically evaluate it. When considering atypical moles, you should follow the ABCDE rule:
A= asymmetry: One side does not look like the other side.
B= border: The edge of the spot is irregular.
C= color: The color throughout the mole is uneven.
D= diameter: The size of the spot is greater than the size of a pencil tip eraser.
E= evolution: The spot is changing.
If you see a spot that you never noticed before, or if a spot looks different to you than it had been, ask your Dermatologist to check it out. They are trained to spot potentially harmful lesions on the body and have special magnifiers called dermatoscopes that can help identify these risky moles. Melanoma is one of the rarer forms of skin cancer, but is deadly. So if you notice a spot is changing, get it checked out. Early detection is key, and a sample can be taken to send to the lab to test a funny mole if necessary.