Allowed to grow, melanoma can spread to other parts of the
body. Melanoma can spread quickly. When melanoma spreads, it can be
you notice a mole that differs from others or one that changes, bleeds, or
itches, see a dermatologist as soon as possible,” says Dr. Saryna Young, WESTMED
dermatologist at 210 Westchester Avenue.
Performing regular skin self-examinations is
an easy way to detect suspicious moles that could be cancerous. Asking a
partner to assist you by looking at hard-to-reach areas to monitor changes in
your skin can improve the early detection of skin cancer.
Self-Exams: “You can be the first line of defense
against skin cancer,” said Dr. Young. Checking your skin means taking
note of all the spots on your body, from moles to freckles to age spots.
Check for Moles: To help detect the warning signs of skin
cancer, especially melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer), the Academy of
Dermatology makes this recommendation -
your skin for the following characteristics:
one half unlike the other half
irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border
varies from one area to another, has shades of tan, brown or black, or
is sometimes white, red or blue
Diametery - the
size of a pencil eraser or larger
Evolvingy - a
mole or lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size,
shape or color
Perform a Skin Self-Exam
your body front and back in the mirror. Then, look at the right and left
sides with your arms raised.
your elbows and look carefully at forearms, upper underarms and palms.
at the backs of your legs and feet, the spaces between your toes, and the
soles of your feet.
the back of your neck and scalp with a hand mirror. Part hair for a closer
check your back and buttocks with a hand mirror.
Melanoma Be Cured? Dr. Young says, “When
detected in its earliest stages, melanoma is highly curable.” The average
five-year survival rate for individuals whose melanoma is detected and treated
before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 98 percent.