Detect Skin Cancer with Regular Self-Exams

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), over 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people are diagnosed in the U. S. every year. Current estimates are that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. It is important to screen regularly because if skin cancer is detected early and removed, it has a high cure rate.

There are three different types of skin cancer. The most common types are basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. The most deadly form of skin cancer is melanoma. Early detection and treatment are very important with all three types.

Your risk for skin cancer increases as you age. According to the AAD, men over 50 are most likely to develop skin cancer. Outdoor workers need to take added precaution because they spend hours in the mid-day sun, which is a major risk factor for developing skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. CMV Drivers need to take precautions as well. While windshields are treated to block dangerous ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, side and rear windows are generally not treated. Researchers have found that skin exposed to sun shining through window glass over time can lead to significant skin damage. In fact, the majority of skin cancers in the U.S. develop on the right side of people’s bodies and faces (read more about sun hazards in your car at Skincancer.org).

Source: American Academy of Dermatology


Screen Regularly for Skin Cancer

Free skin cancer screenings are offered across the country and throughout the year by the AAD. During a screening, a dermatologist visually examines your skin. The screening is conducted in a matter of minutes – and does not require a blood test or any other medical test. To find a free skin cancer screening near you, visit www.SpotSkinCancer.org or call 888-462-DERM (3376).

The best way to detect skin cancer early, when it is most treatable, is to perform a skin self-exam on a regular basis. Research shows that involving a partner in a skin self-examination makes it more likely that self screening will be performed and can improve the early detection of skin cancer which could lead to a better outcome. Visit the AAD’s Detect Skin Cancer resource for more information about self-examinations. From there, you can download the AAD’s body mole map to document your self-examination, review the How to SPOT Skin Cancer™ infographic,  and learn what to look for when checking your spots.

The AAD also provides a number of videos, like the one included below that will teach you learn how to check your skin for the signs of skin cancer and learn how to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays.

Source: American Academy of Dermatologists


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