Skin cancer has become one of the most widespread diseases, with increasing numbers of diagnoses each year. In the last three decades, there have been more people diagnosed with skin cancer than all the other cancers combined. 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancers are treated each year in the U.S. and one in five Americans will be diagnosed with some type of skin cancer in their lifetime. Melanoma is expected to claim almost ten thousand lives in the U.S. in 2017.
Like all cancer, skin cancer has the best outcome from treatment when caught in the early stages. Unlike other cancers that hide internally, the signs of skin cancer can often be visible. But they may not be in an area that you can easily see by yourself. You should get checked periodically for signs of skin cancer by a doctor or a loved one.
Skin Cancer Scans
If you know what to look for, anyone can perform a skin cancer scan. Most skin cancer lesions are oddly shaped – moles that change shape or color can be suspicious or any new growths. All areas of the skin should be visibly scanned for changes every month. This means head to toe, including under hair. You can check many areas yourself, but you will need another person to view areas you cannot see.
The good news is that if you catch skin cancer early when a new growth first arrives, it is almost always treatable and curable. Perform your skin cancer scan on yourself and loved ones every month. If you find a suspicious growth, make an appointment with your local dermatologist to have it checked out by a specialist.
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