Many Skin Cancers are Highly Curable When You Detect Them Early
May is skin cancer awareness and prevention month. Early detection is essential to the treatment of many forms of cancer, but especially skin cancer. According to Skincancer.org, 99% of all skin cancers are curable if they are diagnosed and treated early enough.
Regular skin checks with a dermatologist are necessary for early detection. But, at the earliest stages of an abnormality, there is no one better to recognize something unusual on your skin, then you or someone in your family. For this reason, self-exams are an essential part of early detection.
Skin Cancer Foundation Suggests Tips About When to See a Doctor About Skin Cancer
The Skin Cancer Foundation is a non-profit organization that, since 1979, has been “helping people understand the importance of skin cancer prevention, early detection and prompt, effective treatment.” Their advice is:
“If you see something NEW, CHANGING, or UNUSUAL, get checked by a dermatologist right away. It could be skin cancer.”
Look for these things that might be warning signs of skin cancer:
A growth that:
Increases in size and looks pearly, tan, brown, black, multicolored, or transparent.
A mole or birthmark that:
Increases in size, thickness, changes texture or color, or is bigger than the eraser on a pencil.
A spot or sore that:
Continues to itch, crust, hurt, scab, or bleed.
An open sore that:
Does not heal within three weeks.
Tips For Conducting a Thorough Self-Exam For Skin Cancer
The Skin Cancer Foundation suggests you have the following tools to help you perform a thorough and effective self-examination of your skin: a hand mirror, a full-length mirror, a blow dryer, a bright light, two chairs or stools, and pencil and paper.
Use the mirrors and bright light to help you inspect yourself carefully and thoroughly. Be sure to pay special attention to hard to see areas.
Ways to conduct your exam include:
- Examine your face, including the back of your ears
- Examine your scalp (using the blow dryer to move your hair)
- Check your hands and in between fingers
- Scan your arms and elbows- front and back
- Inspect your torso
- Scan your upper back, neck, and shoulders
- Scan your lower back, buttocks, and back of your legs
- Sit on the stools and inspect your legs, feet (including the soles), and genitals
Make sure that if you have any questions or concerns about something you find, seek advice from a medical professional right away. Remember, early detection and treatment of skin cancer can save your life.
Is Someone You Love Undergoing Treatment for Skin Cancer or Another Type of Cancer? Rock the Treatment Has Gifts That Can Help!
Treatments for skin cancer and other types of cancer can leave your friend or loved one feeling exhausted, anxious, and ill. At Rock the Treatment, we have gift boxes designed specifically for the cancer patient.
At Rock the Treatment, we make it easy to let someone with cancer know you care and support them on their difficult journey. If someone you love has skin cancer or any other type of cancer, send a helpful cancer gift basket from Rock The Treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation gift baskets are packed with the essentials needed to ease side effects of treatment, as well as enhance physical and mental well-being. See all of our cancer care packages and find the one that best supports their journey.