If you spend time in the sun it’s wise to check your body occasionally for signs of skin cancer. This is the number one cancer affecting millions of people each year. A at home self check is easy to do and early detection is the best way to prevent this cancer from spreading. You’ll learn a few different methods to do this as you keep reading.
Starting The Exam
It’s simple, you start with a full length mirror and also a small hand mirror. The first thing you want to do is look at yourself in the mirror and note any freckles, blemishes or moles that currently exist. Next sit down and check your legs, thighs, back of legs and feet. Be sure to check the bottoms of your feet too. Use the hand mirror to view places your not able to clearly see like the back of your legs.
Check your lower back, scalp, upper back and other places that sun exposure is prominent. It’s good to note on paper the markings on your skin so your able to compare this to future check-ups.
What To Look For
The cancerous cells most commonly found on the neck, head, arms, hands and face are called Basal and squamous cell cancers.
Basal Cells – these cells have two distinctions, one can look flat and firm with small pale areas and the other can be raised. They have a pinkish red color, a bit shiny and may tend to bleed. They also may have blood vessels that look abnormal, such as discoloration with blue, brown or black areas. You might also find enlarged basal cells with unusual crusted areas.
Squamous Cells – these cells are more distinguished by looking like growing lumps. These too have 2 appearances, one can be rough, scaly or crusted or they may look reddish and flat.
Commonly these cells start as flat blemishes that don’t look abnormal until you do a self exam and notice the changes. That’s the whole point to these self exams, knowing your body.
Over time your skin will have imperfections for various reasons and most times there is never any change, but skin cancer cells can change slowly. They can also spread and become a serious problem if you don’t do a periodical self exam.