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Skin cancer can
be cured if found and treated early.
Skin self-exam is a
good way to detect early skin changes that may mean melanoma. Look for any
abnormal skin growth or any change in the color, shape, size, or appearance of
a skin growth. Check for any area of injured skin (lesion) that does not heal.
Have your spouse or someone such as a close friend help you monitor your skin,
especially places that are hard to see such as your scalp and back.
A careful skin exam may identify suspicious growths that may be cancer or
growths that may develop into skin cancer (precancers). Adults should examine
their skin once every month.
Skin cancer often appears on the
trunk of men and on the legs of women.
For more information, see the topic Protecting Your Skin From the Sun.
ABCDEs, the changes in a mole or skin growth that are warning signs of
A melanoma may also look like a bruise that isn't healing, or it may show up as a brown or black streak under a fingernail or toenail.
For more information, see the topic Skin Cancer,
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2009). Screening for skin cancer: Recommendation statement. Annals of Internal Medicine, 150(3): 178–185. Available online: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf09/skincancer/skincanrs.htm.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerAmy McMichael, MD - Dermatology
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
Current as of:
November 14, 2014
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology
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