What To Know About Skin Cancer Checks

Nobody wants to hear that they have the "c-word," but tons of people are diagnosed every day with a variety of different types of cancers including skin cancer. The good thing (if that is such a thing) about skin cancer is that it's easily treatable if it's caught early on and patients shouldn't have to worry about any complications following treatment. But as previously mentioned, you need to catch skin cancer early on for it to be treatable, which may sound tricky, but by doing regular skin cancer checks, it can just be part of your routine. 

Do Checks Every Month

Get into the habit of doing skin cancer checks on yourself every month. One of the best places to do them is in the shower. To do one of these checks, take your hand and rub it up and down your body to see if you feel any bumps or abnormalities. Then, take a close look at all of your freckles and moles. Do any of them look larger? Have any of them changed? Do any of them have jagged edges? If you do notice any of these things then it may be time for you to schedule a dermatologist appointment. 

When you are doing a skin cancer check, you may wonder how you'll be able to find anything on your backside. To have your backside checked, ask a friend or partner to do it for you; just make sure that you teach them what to look for before they start. 

Go Into See Your Dermatologist

Another habit that you should get into is going into see your dermatologist every year for a check. Your dermatologist will do a similar check, but since they are professionals, they will be able to easily identify any abnormalities that need to be removed or biopsied. If they do notice anything that they are concerned about, they will typically either use a scalpel to cut it off or they will use what is called cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen) to freeze it off. Once they have the suspicious mole or freckle, they will send it to the lab to be looked at for signs of cancer. 

Even if you stay inside almost all year long, hide under an umbrella at the beach, and lather on sunscreen every day, you can still get skin cancer. If you have a family history of skin cancer, make sure to tell your dermatologist because they may recommend that you get even more frequent screenings.