Perform a monthly self-examination, or ‘Skin Check’

Checking your skin regularly is one of the easiest things you can do for your health. A skin check is a good way to detect early skin changes that may mean melanoma.

You should perform a skin exam on yourself once a month. Additionally, it might be a good idea to have your skin examined by a health care professional about once a year. For information on physical exams for skin cancer screening and how to prepare for them, click here.

When performing your monthly skin exam, look for any abnormal skin growth or any change in the colour, 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 check may identify suspicious growths that may be cancer or growths that may develop into skin cancer (precancers). Adults should examine their skin regularly. Skin cancer often appears on the torso of men and on the legs of women.

The Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy has created a free voice-activated app available on both Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant platforms. The app guides people through what to look for, and the seven steps for conducting a full-body skin exam.

The assistant finishes by offering to set a recurring monthly reminder for the exam.

Once enabled, users can simply ask Alexa or Google: “Open Skin Check”

Early detection is key, and can make all the difference in the case of any melanoma OR non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosis. Learn more about preventative measures you can take to protect your skin here.

Making awareness and education available is crucial. Since 2006, the Foundation has worked to raise awareness of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers focusing on education, prevention and the need for improved patient care.