It is important to know your skin because the sooner a skin cancer is identified and treated- the better the outcome. Regularly checking your skin for new spots, or changes to existing spots is recommended. It is important to check your entire body – either using a mirror or making use of a friend/partner. Don’t forget to look between fingers, toes and soles of feet. It is important to undress completely and ensure you have good light.
SunSmart has a video demonstrating the skin check: http://www.sunsmart.com.au/skin-cancer/checking-for-skin-cancer
What am I meant to look for?
When checking your skin for signs of any cancer take note of;
- New moles
- Moles that have increased in size
- Any spot that has changed colour, become darker or has developed varied pigmentation
- Any spot that becomes raised or develops a lump within it
- The surface of a mole becomes rough, scaly or ulcerated
- Moles that itch, tingle or bleed
Melanomas have a specific alphabetical detection guide that can be helpful. The ABCDE melanoma detection guide is as follows
A – Asymmetry; Lesions that lack symmetry
B – Border; Lesions with irregular edges or notches
C – Colour; Lesions with a number of colours or darker colours +/- grey
D – Diameter; Lesions that are becoming bigger
E – Evolving; Lesions that are changing
Noticing changes does not mean you have skin cancer. It is important to visit your GP to have them assess you further.
Your GP at Parkhill Medical Centre can do a general skin check to assess any concerns you may have regarding skin cancer
It is crucial to be proactive about your general skin checks!