Did you know that not all skin checks are created equal? When you are investigating your options, it is important to review the following pointers, all of which can alter the accuracy and quality of the skin check you receive. Receiving a high quality and accurate skin check is vital, as melanoma won’t give you a second chance.
Personnel – Make sure you don’t have unnecessary excisions
- Who is conducting and diagnosing your skin check? Not everyone can conduct a skin check, training and experience in the field of skin cancer is vital.
- Are skin checks something they do all day every day, or is it something they do every now and again?
- How accurate are they and do they recommend too many harmless moles to be cut out unnecessarily, saving you money and scarring.
Thoroughness – A full-body, head-to-toe skin check should include a check of your scalp and soles of the feet
- Is it a head-to-toe check?
- Is enough time taken to check all your moles carefully?
Technology – Expert personnel combined with technology provide the best outcome for you
- Is a device used to see more than the naked eye and look below the surface of the skin? A naked eye visual skin check will pick up obvious skin cancers, but not the less obvious ones. Identification of subtle signs of melanoma is best done through a technique called dermoscopy, which allows the subsurface structures of a mole to be identified.
Education – knowledge is power
- Do you know your ABCDE and the EFG characteristics of melanoma? We have had multiple instances where patients have gone on to identify skin cancer on friends and family after being educated on what to look for.
- Skin cancer can appear at any time. What education about protection and early detection will you receive during your check to ensure that you are proactive, not reactive?