It’s always good to review the ABCDEs of identifying skin cancer and this system is such an easy way to remember what to look for.
Who can get skin cancer?
ANYONE can get skin cancer, whether you are pale or dark skinned, young or old, male or female, anyone can get this cancer. Certain groups of people are at higher risk, however, which includes:
*People of Celtic descent
*Fair/light skinned persons
*People with freckles, moles or skin that burns easily
*History of skin cancer (personal or in the family)
*Outdoor workers (such as gardeners, construction workers)
Dr. Beverly recommends doing a skin check self-exam every month, especially if you are at high risk for skin cancer. This is important because while BCC and SCC may be slow-growing, melanoma is very aggressive & can metastasize to other parts of the body quickly so it is important to identify any suspicious spots sooner rather than later. The self-exam is particularly important for people of color because too often spots on darker skinned individuals go ignored and undiagnosed until the skin cancer reaches a very advanced stage.
To do a self-exam, get a mirror (or a spouse) and check every area of your skin, including the often forgotten areas such as the scalp (more on this in the next post!), genital area, nails, and inbetween the toes. Why everywhere? While most skin cancers appear in areas with a lot of UV exposure, skin cancers can also appear in unexpected areas, usually due to genetics. These are often ignored and undiagnosed until advanced stages as well, so check everywhere.
For a Guide & Body Mole Map, please reference this free PDF from the American Academy of Dermatology: AAD Body Mole Map
ABCDEs of Skin Cancer
If you have any suspicious moles or spots of concern, please give us a call at (949) 831-3057 to schedule an appointment with us.
Our office is located in Aliso Viejo. If you are not in the Orange County area, please call your local dermatologist to have any unusual moles evaluated & diagnosed.