The earlier that melanoma or any type of skin cancer is detected, the better! If a skin cancer is found quickly, early treatment can lead to better and brighter outcomes.
According to research, women are nine times more likely to notice skin changes – including those that lead to melanoma – than men. The American Academy of Dermatology campaign, “Check Your Partner. Check Yourself,” promotes regularly checking for new or changing spots on you and your partner’s skin which allows for earlier melanoma detection.
So how and where should you look? With your clothes off, in a well-lit room, look up and down the front and back of your partner’s body. Check around the neck and scalp. Look at underarms, between fingers and toes, at the soles of feet, and the buttocks.
What are you looking for? Asymmetry, if one part of a mole or birthmark doesn’t match the other. Border, when the edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred. Color is not the same all over and may include shades and/or patches of brown, black, pink, red, white, or blue. Is the spot larger than a quarter of an inch in Diameter? Do you notice the mole is changing or Evolving in size, shape, or color?
If a new or existing mole causes long-term itching or bleeding, take note as well.
Repeat this body check monthly. If any of the described changes are noticed, then contact your dermatologist immediately. Your dermatologist can then do a more in-depth skin check and proceed with the best course of action, if one is necessary.