May-Skin Cancer Awareness Month – Self Exams lead to Early Detection

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, afflicting more than two million Americans each year, a number that is rising rapidly. It is also the easiest to cure, if diagnosed and treated early. When allowed to progress, however, skin cancer can result in disfigurement and even death.

No matter where you live or how dark your skin is, you are vulnerable to skin cancer if you spend any time exposed to UV rays; whether they’re from the sun or from tanning beds. Along with taking preventative measures, the best way to prevent the threat of skin cancer is early prevention.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone practice monthly head-to-toe self examination of  their skin, so that they can find any new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous. Skin cancers found and removed early are almost always curable. Learn about the warnings signs of skin cancer and what to look for during a self examination. If you spot anything suspicious, see a doctor.

What you’ll need: a bright light, a full-length mirror, a hand mirror, 2 chairs or stools, a blow dryer, body maps and a pencil.

1 Examine your face, especially the nose, lips, mouth, and ears – front and back. Use one or both mirrors to get a clear view. man-and-face
2 Thoroughly inspect your scalp, using a blow dryer and mirror to expose each section to view. Get a friend or family member to help, if you can. woman-and-blowdryer
3 Check your hands carefully: palms and backs, between the fingers and under the fingernails. Continue up the wrists to examine both front and back of your forearms. woman-and-nails
4 Standing in front of the full-length mirror, begin at the elbows and scan all sides of your upper arms. Don’t forget the underarms man-and-underarm
5 Next focus on the neck, chest, and torso. Women should lift breasts to view the underside. woman-front
6 With your back to the full-length mirror, use the hand mirror to inspect the back of your neck, shoulders, upper back, and any part of the back of your upper arms you could not view in step 4. man-and-back-of-head
7 Still using both mirrors, scan your lower back, buttocks, and backs of both legs. man-and-butt
8 Sit down; prop each leg in turn on the other stool or chair. Use the hand mirror to examine the genitals. Check front and sides of both legs, thigh to shin, ankles, tops of feet, between toes and under toenails. Examine soles of feet and heels. woman-and-foot

About sunnysleevez

I'm a freckly red head, originally from London now living in LA with 2 pale children. Frankly with our coloring we have no business being such an outdoorsy family and living in southern California. I grew up in a time when factor 8 sun milk was considered the best protection available to combat the hot rays of a holiday in southern Spain, that lead to 3rd degree burns and the rest of the vacation spent in the shade of our apartment. As a family we love to be outside, going to the beach, camping, swimming & hiking. We can't completely avoid the sun (nor should we) but taking sensible measures to avoid unnecessary UV damage is a priority. How do we do that? By staying in the shade in the middle of the day, wearing sun protective clothing (that's why I created Sunny Sleevez), a broad brimmed hat, UV rated sunglasses, using chemical-free broad spectrum sun screen on exposed areas & eating a healthy diet with as few chemicals as possible & lots of antioxidants.
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10 Responses to May-Skin Cancer Awareness Month – Self Exams lead to Early Detection

  1. Peg Hoff says:

    Great blog and I like the illustrations that I think will help many on the proper way to look at your skin.

  2. Reblogged this on bellesbaubles and commented:
    i know no one really reads my blog but still this is important stuff so should you read it at least i can feel like i did my part to inform you all

  3. thank you for another informative post i have reblogged to pass on the info to anyone who may read my blog

  4. cynryan says:


    Thanks for sending out this info on skin cancer. You’re right that it is one of the most curable (as well as preventable and detectable), so education is key!


  5. An extremely helpful, graphic post–things everybody needs to know. It’s blogging at its best. Thank you.

  6. Foodobyte says:

    Love the simple instructions! great stuff 🙂

    btw, thanks for following me on wordpress (!

    Now I’ve transferred to an exciting new website:
    If you’d like to see some tasty fondue photos, please check it out & follow me there! 🙂 thanks!

  7. Pingback: Protect Yourself Harmful UV Rays This Summer | Suite Life Travels

  8. Tina's Pharm says:

    I love your product! Think you will enjoy my newest post on sun safety!

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