Skin Cancer? Skin Check!

Your Skin is Your Largest Organ!  

 

 

 

lady looking at shoulder

Check it out

Everyone has moles.  Some appear from birth; some show up later.  How many is too many?  Most people have 25 to 50 moles on their body.  This is considered normal.  Some persons will have many more.  Moles can be harmless but it is important to keep an eye on your skin and any changes you might see.  For persons with many moles it may be a good idea to see a dermatologist and have them mapped.  This skin specialist will record and photograph your skin to determine whether any mole or growth is of concern.  This record can be compared months and years later to see if there have been changes.

What you can do at home:

Regularly check your skin from head to toe with the help of a hand held mirror, a full length mirror and a friend to see those parts of your body that you may have trouble seeing.  Click here for the 5 steps to skin cancer self-examination

http://www.dermatology.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/MMPoster2009-EN.pdf

If you have many moles, look for any one lesion that seems different from the rest.  Look for what dermatologists call the “ugly duckling” or “zebra”—something that stands out from the rest. 

If you have a spot that you are keeping an eye on, try this:

  1. Lay saran wrap over the spot, outline it with a Sharpie pen and give yourself some arrows to indicate—top, bottom, near what body part, and date this. 
  2. A month later, lay the Saran over the same spot to see if anything has changed.  Look for colour changes, changes in thickness, whether the border or edges are different. 
  3. Visit www.skincheck.org for pictures and time lapse graphics of actual skin cancers.

Occasionally a hair stylist, aesthetician, massage therapist, chiropractor or another service provider may notice a spot on your skin or scalp and suggest you see your doctor.  Make an appointment.  Service providers that see a lot of skin on a daily basis may see something you don’t. 

For more information about Basal Cell, Squamous Cell Skin Cancer and Melanoma, go to http://www.dermatology.ca/skin-hair-nails/skin/skin-cancer/