Take This MoleMate Blog With You to Your Doctor’s Office
Source: US News Health
Any skin care professional will tell you that early diagnosis is key to successfully surviving skin cancer. In order to treat skin cancer successfully, you must find it early. And to do that, you and your doctor need to play a dual role in making an early skin cancer diagnosis.
“You should do a self-examination to check for skin cancer about once every month,” says Melissa Piliang, MD, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic inOhio. “If you find anything suspicious, you need to let your doctor know. It’s also a good idea to have a complete examination by a doctor every one to two years.”
You should also talk to other doctors about your skin cancer risk, not just your dermatologist. “Melanomas can occur in places that are hard to see,” Dr. Piliang says. If you have any family history of melanoma, you should tell your gynecologist, dentist, and eye doctor so they can do special exams to look for melanoma.
What to Expect at the Dermatologist’s Office
Consequently, a skin cancer exam is not confined to any one part of your body. “Because skin cancer can be found anywhere, expect to be examined from head to toe, not just your hands and face,” says Piliang. Before you get to the dermatologist’s office, make sure you remove all nail polish, because melanoma can even grow under a fingernail.
A skin cancer exam also involves sharing your family medical history. Tell your doctor about any family history of skin cancer and about how much sun exposure you have had over the years. Some risk factors your doctor will want to know about include frequent sunburns as a child and any occupational exposure to pitch, coal tar, arsenic, creosote, or radium.
8 Steps in a Skin Cancer Self-Exam
To do this exam every month, you need a full-length mirror, a hand mirror, a chair or bench, and bright lighting:
1. Start with your face, nose, lips, and ears. Use a hand mirror to check the back of your neck.
2. Inspect your scalp using a blow dryer.
3. Check your hands and arms from each fingernail up to your elbows.
4. Face the full-length mirror and raise your arms over your head to see the underarm area.
5. Now look at your neck and chest area; women should examine the creases beneath the breasts.
6. Face away from the full-length mirror and use the hand mirror to look at your back and shoulders.
7. Now use the hand mirror to inspect the back of your buttocks and legs.
8. Finally, sit down and examine the insides of your legs, genitals, fronts of legs, feet, toes, toenails, and the soles of your feet.
Tell your doctor about the results of your most recent self-examination, and compare results to old exams. Also be sure to ask your doctor about any new skin growths and any changes in old skin growths, and if your doctor hasn’t heard of MoleMate take this blog along with you to the doctor’s office.
The FDA approved SIMSYS-MoleMate Skin Imaging System, a non-invasive skin cancer screening procedure, is a significant advance in the early detection of potentially life threatening moles and lesions.
Physicians have found the SIMSYS-MoleMate Siascope hand-held device easy to learn and use, and that it rapidly provides accurate images of the pigment, blood, and collagen below the mole or lesion.
Now, for the first time, physicians can more accurately evaluate suspicious moles and lesions in a non-invasive, pain-free way. Experts also believe it may reduce the need for time consuming and expensive biopsies.