How to Do Self Examination for Skin Cancer

Skin cancer, termed medically as Melanoma, is a form of cancer that is quicker in spreading than any other skin cancers.

Governments all over the world are spreading awareness about melanoma that is mainly caused by exposure to the harmful ultra violet rays of the sun. Even beauty care products are being formulated with SPF to protect the skin from sun damage.

Melanoma cancer occurs in cells that make skin pigmentation. These cells are known as melanocytes. Melanoma is a rapidly spreading cancer and spreads to other body parts quickly. It normally makes the first appearance on the legs of women and on the trunk in men. However, this is not a rule. Melanoma can attack any part of the body.

Melanoma is a life threatening disorder and nearly 8000 Americans lose their lives every year from it. Around 50,000 are diagnosed with Melanoma each year. Under such circumstances it becomes important to distinguish the signs of melanoma from other skin diseases.

Melanoma Self-Examination

Observe you skin every fortnight for any outbreaks of moles or if there has been any change in the appearance of an existing mole. First examine the front of your body for any new moles or changes in the ones already present. Now carefully check your back and then your right and left sides by keeping your arms raised.

Also include back and buttocks either in a large sized mirror or in a hand held one for a closer look.

Do a thorough check on your elbows, forearms, underarms, upper underarms and even palms. Scan carefully the back of your legs and feet. Look in between the toes and also under the feet.

Take a medium sized hand mirror and observe the skin on your neck, the back of neck and your scalp. Check your scalp thoroughly by making sections of your hair.

Here’s a quick way to find if the moles are turning abnormal.

A single mole will have two halves that will be different in shape, color, size and even density.

The moles will have edges that will be asymmetrical in shape or frayed.

The mole will not be defined by one color but by various shades of brown, black, white, tan and sometimes even blue.

The diameter of moles affected with melanoma will be more than 6mm. But this is not a rule.