Statistics show that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in New Zealand. The latest data reveals that it accounts for around 67,000 of all cases of cancer in the country. Even the most serious type of cancer of the skin, melanoma, is curable provided that it is detected early. In fact, when the tumour is diagnosed in the early stages of its development, the chance of successful treatment is 98 per cent. Given all these facts, it is vital to have checks for this dangerous condition.
SELF CHECKS FOR SKIN CANCER
Unfortunately, in many cases, the tumours develop in areas of the skin that we cannot see directly. That is why it is important to devote a small amount of time every month for self checks. You simply need to take your clothes off and examine your entire body. Pay special attention to the back, to the areas under the arms and to the back of the legs. Use a mirror when necessary. Examine your hands and feet very carefully. Check specifically between the toes and under the nails. If you wear nail polish most of the time, remove it so that you can easily detect any skin changes. Check your head for any abnormal growths which may be skin cancer tumours. You need a mirror and a comb for this particular part of the exam. Comb a small strand of hair on one side to see the skin underneath clearly. Repeat this as many times as necessary to examine your entire head.
SKIN CANCER SCREENINGS
Performing checks together with your partner may save time and effort and give you more accurate results. It is easier for another person to detect any abnormal growths in areas which you find hard to examine such as the back of the thighs. Besides, you will be certain that both you and your partner do not have any abnormal growths. Similarly, you can ask your hair stylist to report any abnormal growths on your head. It is important to be examined for abnormal skin lesions by a doctor on a regular basis as well as to report any changes in moles that you have noticed as part of self checks. This will help not only for early diagnosis of skin cancer. If the doctor finds any precancerous growths, they will be removed timely and this will lower your risk of developing the condition even further.