Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. and can strike anyone. But with early detection, this disease can be successfully treated. May is “Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month,” and this campaign is designed to promote the prevention and early detection of melanoma and other skin cancers.
“The best way to find early melanoma is to perform regular skin self-examinations so you will recognize any changes in your skin,” says Dr. Saryna Young, Westmed dermatologist. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone check their skin regularly for any new or suspicious spots.
How to Check for Moles
Dr. Young urges you to check your skin regularly for any new or suspicious characteristics as follows:
- Examine body front and back in mirror, especially legs.
- Bend elbows, look carefully at forearms, back of upper arms, and palms.
- Look at feet, spaces between toes and soles.
- Examine back of neck and scalp with a hand mirror. Part hair and lift.
- Finally, check back and buttocks with a hand mirror.
What, specifically are you looking for?
- Asymmetry – one half unlike the other half
- Border- irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border
- Color – varies from one area to another, has shades of tan, brown or black, or is sometimes white, red or blue
- Diameter – the size of a pencil eraser or larger
- Evolving – a mole or lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color
If you notice a mole that is different from others, or that changes, itches, or bleeds even if it is smaller than 6mm, you should make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist as soon as possible.
Click here for a complete description of the Westmed Dermatology Department’s services and physicians in White Plains, Rye, Purchase, New Rochelle and Yonkers. And you can make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist online.