How to spot signs of skin cancer at an early stage

Skin cancer is amongst the most common cancers afflicting people today. Like any other disease, early detection is one of the best ways to nip the cancer in the bud before it spreads further, as there will be more treatment options available at this point. Most skin cancers can be treated effectively at an early stage, and this makes it important to do a regular skin cancer check, especially if you are staying in or around Blackburn. The sooner a skin cancer is identified, the higher the chance of avoiding surgery and other complications. You can do this by a self examination, as well as by consulting your doctor at a Manningham Skin Cancer Clinic near Blackburn.

How can you start with a skin cancer check?

The first step is to be familiar with your own skin. You should know what is normal, and what is not, so that in the event of any changes, you will be able to spot the signs.  This becomes important because skin cancers may not cause any pain or other symptoms, and there is a chance that you may not pay attention to it. The good news is that a thorough skin examination is all that is required, and there is usually no need for complicated or invasive investigations.

  1. Start with a self examination

A good way to know your skin is through a close examination of any changes, new spots, moles or freckles in front of a mirror. While skin cancer tends to affect those areas of the skin that are exposed to the harmful UV radiation in sunlight, there are also times when it can occur in areas rarely exposed to the sun, like under the nails and between fingers and toes. Make sure that you inspect every point of your skin thoroughly.

You can do this in a well lit room in front of a full length mirror, and use a small hand mirror to check those areas that are difficult to see yourself. You could also ask a partner to do a check for moles for you. Most doctors around Blackburn recommend doing this once a month.

  1. Get a mole mapping done at Manningham Skin Cancer Clinic

In some people, moles and freckles are so numerous it can be difficult to tell which ones you should be more concerned about. But if these moles start showing changes in size, shape or colour, then it is a cause of concern and you should immediately get a mole mapping done from a certified clinic. If you happen to live in Blackburn or surrounding suburbs, this is a simple process that Manningham Skin Cancer Clinic can offer, in which each mole is documented on very specific parameters:

A: Asymmetrical or unusual shapes

B: Borders that are uneven or jagged

C: Colour changes, especially if there is more than one shade

D: Diameters larger than 6-7 mm

E: Evolutionary changes, like changes in size or thickening of the mole

If changes are observed after the ABCDE check, it could be a sign of melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer. Australia has the highest number of cases of melanoma in the world, and this makes it crucial to get a melanoma screening done if you spot any of the early symptoms. You could visit our skin cancer clinic near Blackburn to get a check-up. Because early melanoma detection can be life saving. In Australia where the sun is so strong, we recommend getting regular mole mapping done.

Reach out to us at Manningham Skin Cancer Clinic for any questions or concerns regarding skin cancer and we will be happy to help. We are based in Lower Templestowe, and we serve patients from nearby suburbs like Blackburn as well. If you wish to schedule a regular skin examination, call us on 03 8840 1410.