Detection & Screening
Monthly and Yearly Skin Exams
Anyone can get melanoma. And melanoma is aggressive, so early detection is critical. By performing a thorough self-skin examination each month and visiting a dermatologist each year for a professional examination, you will be one step ahead in catching melanoma early. Each month during your self skin exam, check your entire body thoroughly for any moles or discoloration that look new or different. Be sure to check less obvious areas as well, such as your scalp. The MRF provides a detailed guide on how to perform a self skin examination. At your yearly professional skin exam, your dermatologist will thoroughly check for suspicious moles or lesions on your entire body, including your scalp, fingers, toes and nail beds. Some dermatology practices may keep a photographic record of certain moles to track any changes between appointments. You may also want to visit the American Academy of Dermatology website to find free skin checks in your area.
What if a suspicious lesion is found?
If you notice a new or suspicious lesion on your body, notify your dermatologist right away. The evolution of a lesion is proven to be the most important determining factor in diagnosing a melanoma.