Home Featured How to Perform a Self-Exam for Skin Cancer at Home

How to Perform a Self-Exam for Skin Cancer at Home

by RaihanGardiner

It is important to perform regular skin checks to detect and treat cancer early. Skin cancer whether it is basal cell carcinoma, melanoma and squamouscell carcinoma can be treatable when you detect it early on. You will be able to detect if there are any suspicious changes if you regularly check your skin.

You have to carry out the skin check in a room full of natural or artificial bright light.

Natural light is ideal for this and you can carry out the exam near a window during the day. You need to have a full length mirror and a hand held mirror for this so that you can even examine the hard to see areas like the scalp or back. You will also need to undress completely to carry out a thorough skin check. This way, you will be able to examine all areas of your skin. You have to remove and jewellery, clothing or accessories so that your view is not obstructed. The exam can start with the face. This includes the nose, ears, lips and neck. You can use the handheld mirror to check the areas that are hard to see such as scalp and behind the scalp. You have to look for any freckles, moles or spots that have changed in colour, size or shape. You can expose the scalp by parting the hair with a comb. And the use the handheld mirror to examine the scalp. You can go by section so that it is easier to spot irregularities. Check if there are any unusual growths or changes in texture or colour.

You have to inspect both sides of your hands, under the nails and behind the fingers.

You have to check if there are any spots in your forearms, wrists or palms along with upper arms and elbows. You can stand in front of the fulllengthmirror so that your sides, abdomen and chest can be examined. Using the handheld mirror, you can check your back. You can even use a selfie- stick to photograph hard to see areas in the back so that you can have this as a record. When checking each leg, you have to sit down and then examine the knees, shins, thighs, calves and ankles. The bottoms of your feet and between the toes can be checked with the handheld mirror. You have to inspect the top of your feet and the ankles. Your dermatologist will tell you to use ABCDE to identify melanoma warning signs which will be explained below.

The A stands for asymmetry

And this is when half of the mole doesn’t match with the other half. You have to check whether the edges of the mole are irregular or jagged. Check for colour variations where the mole has multiple colours. The diameter of the mole has to be checked. If this is more than a pencil eraser or 6mm, you will need to note this. You have to check whether the mole has changed in colour, shape, size or texture over time. You have to track any changes you see in the self-exams. You have to document the findings along with dates and even photos so that it can serve as valuable reference for the future.

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