Step-by-Step Guide to Monthly Skin Cancer Exams
Routine visits to the dermatologist are important for skin cancer detection. Dermatologists also recommend that patients perform self-examinations to spot signs of melanoma or other types of skin cancer in between appointments. Refer to this guide when conducting your monthly skin cancer self-exams.
1. Materials Needed
To effectively perform a cancer self-exam, you will need:
- Good lighting
- A full-length mirror
- A hand mirror
- A blow dryer
- Two chairs
- Body maps and a pencil
If you find anything suspicious, mark it on the corresponding area of the body maps.
2. Face and Scalp
First, check your face while paying close attention to your nose, lips, mouth, and ears, both front and back. Next, use the blow dryer and hand mirror to expose and check each area of your scalp.
3. Hands and Arms
Now, look carefully at the palms and backs of your hands, as well as under your fingernails and between your fingers. Then examine your wrists and continue upward to check the fronts and backs of your forearms. Continue by using the full-length mirror to scan your elbows, upper arms, and underarms for anything suspicious.
4. Neck and Torso
Still using the full-length mirror, examine each area of your neck, chest, and torso. For this step, women should lift their breasts to check their undersides for signs of skin cancer.
5. Upper and Lower Back
Now, stand with your back to the full-length mirror and hold the hand mirror in one hand. Look at the hand mirror to view the large mirror’s reflection of your upper back. Continue downward, checking your lower back, buttocks, and backs of both legs.
6. Legs and Feet
At this point, sit on one of the chairs and use the second chair to prop up each leg as needed. Use the hand mirror to examine your genitals and then check your legs, feet, toes, and toenails for any signs of cancer.
If you’re due for a skin cancer screening or need skin cancer treatment in Arlington Heights, then please contact Arlington Dermatology at 847-392-5440.