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How to Spot Skin Cancer

This time of year, the beach or the pool is likely calling your name. Make sure you’re protecting your skin from the sun any time you’re outdoors. With the help of Associates in Dermatology, you can avoid skin cancer and also know the warning signs.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. There are two types: nonmelanoma, such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer but is treatable when caught early.

Skin cancer can develop anywhere on the body and is one of the few cancers you can see on the skin. A skin care self-examination can help you find any worrisome spots early. Here are some tips:

1. Examine your front and back in the mirror, then the right and left sides, with arms raised

2. Examine the back of your neck and scalp with a hand mirror. Part hair for a closer look at your scalp.

3. Bend elbows, look carefully at forearms, back of upper arms and palms.

4. Check your back and buttocks with a hand mirror.

5. Finally, look backs of legs and feet, spaces between toes and soles.

During your skin cancer self-examination, you’re looking for specific identifying signs in a spot. This includes asymmetry; an irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border; varied colors from one area to another that could include tan, brown, black and sometimes white, red or blue; a diameter of greater than 6 mm (think: a pencil eraser) although they could be smaller; and changes in size, shape or color.

For more information about skin cancer, visit www.SpotSkinCancer.org

Source: American Academy of Dermatology

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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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