Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer and its incidence is doubling every 10 years. Currently 1 in 60 individual will develop melanoma as per US data. With the changes in ozone layer, some predict this incidence will increase sharply in near future. The survival rate of melanomas is directly related to early detection. So it is critically important for peoples to have a good understanding of early detection and prompt prevention and treatment of melanoma.
As melanoma is a type of skin cancer so it usually start with lesion on your skin. It can be easily detected at an early stage by yourself with a self skin examination. By checking the skin regularly for any suspected lesions on your skin increases the chance of finding melanoma early. People who have risk of melanomas could do a routine monthly Skin self-examination. Skin self-examination from head to toe for any signs of melanoma, including changes in existing moles and the development of new moles is the most effective way for early detection of melanoma. Follow the ABCD of melanoma while examination.
Here is how to perform a Skin self-examination:
- With your clothes off, stand in front of a full-length mirror in a well-lighted room. Use a hand mirror to see your back, arms, underarms, buttocks, legs and other hard too see areas.
- Start with the scalp and face and go downward, checking your head, neck, shoulders, chest,back, and so on. Use a comb or a hair dryer to help move hair so you can see the scalp and neck better.
- Don’t forget to check for your nose and lips, cause these areas have righ risk of squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas.
- Don’t forget to check your front, back, and sides of the arms and legs.
- Check your finger nails and palm and also foot soles and toes and toe nails.
- If you have moles, be sure where your moles are and how they look. If you check your skin regularly, you will be familiar with how your moles look like.
- Look for any signs of change in moles , you can take a picture of your moles and compare over time. Look for a change in outline of a mole, its shape and size or color (especially a new black area). Also, look for any new and unusual or suspicion lesion.
If you suspect any abnormal changes in moles or any spots that doesn’t heal over time immediately consult your doctor or a dermatologist.
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