Get your healthcare questions answered
by doctors, scientists, and clinical experts
A free service by Curio to support patients and their loved ones
How can you screen for skin cancer?
- Anna(AI First Responder)••Verified by Curio clinician
Screening for skin cancer involves a combination of self-examination and professional evaluation. Here are some methods to screen for skin cancer:
Self-examination: Regularly examine your skin from head to toe, looking for any changes in moles, freckles, or other skin growths. Use a mirror or ask someone to help you check areas that are difficult to see, such as your back and scalp. Look for the ABCDE signs of melanoma:
- Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not match the other half.
- Border irregularity: The edges of the mole are uneven or notched.
- Color variation: The mole has different shades of brown, black, or other colors.
- Diameter: The mole is larger than 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser).
- Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.
Professional evaluation: If you notice any suspicious skin changes or have a higher risk of skin cancer, it is important to consult a dermatologist or healthcare provider for a professional evaluation. They may perform a thorough skin examination and may use additional tools like dermoscopy or take a biopsy if necessary.
Full-body skin examination: It is recommended to have a full-body skin examination by a dermatologist if you have a personal or family history of skin cancer, numerous moles, or other risk factors. This can help identify any suspicious lesions that may require further evaluation.
Remember, early detection is key in the successful treatment of skin cancer. If you have any concerns or notice any changes in your skin, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance.