Checking For Skin Cancer

Checking For Skin Cancer

With skin cancer on the rise and the most common type of cancer to be diagnosed in the United States it is very important to always be checking for skin cancer or any abnormalities.  Not only should you do these at home on a regular basis but you should also see a dermatologist at least once a year for a full skin check.  Skin cancer is most common in fair skin people but nobody is exempt from getting skin cancer no matter what color your skin is, how old you are or if you burn or tan easily you should still know how to be checking for skin cancer..

ABCDE’s For Checking For Skin Cancer

Here are the ABCDE’s guidelines to check for any abnormalities of moles, freckles or spots on your skin for skin cancer.

  • Stands for ASYMMETRY! Check spots, freckles and moles to make sure one half matches the appearance of the other half and if it does not, then have it checked by a doctor immediately.
  • Stands for BORDER IRREGULARITY! Check spots, freckles and moles and make sure the edges are not ragged, notched or blurred. If the edges have any abnormalities have it checked by a doctor immediately.
  • Stands for COLOR! If the color is not uniform throughout the spot, freckle or mole and if contains several shades of tan, brown and black this is not a good sign.  Also check for dashes of red, white and blue and give freckles, spots and moles a mottled appearance.   If you see any abnormalities have the checked by a doctor immediately.
  • Stands for DIAMETER! If the size is greater than ¼ of an inch or 6 mm which is about the size of a pencil eraser then it needs to be evaluated by a doctor immediately.
  • Stands for EVOLUTION! If over time you notice the spot, freckle or mole changing in size, shape, surface or color especially if they are bleeding, itchy or tender then they need to be checked by a doctor immediately.

When performing self-checks on your skin at home keep a skin journal and take pictures to compare if any changes are happening throughout the year.  Take the journal and pictures to your doctor’s appointment so he/she can determine if any changes have occurred on the spots, freckles or moles.  Most importantly trust your gut instinct, if something seems abnormal to you it is best to get a doctors opinion when you have questions when checking for skin cancer..