Last Modified: May 20, 2011
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I know regular skin exams are important, but are there any "instructions" on how to do one?
Carolyn Vachani RN, MSN, AOCN, OncoLink's Nurse Educator, responds:
When checking your skin, you want to examine your entire body, as skin cancer can occur anywhere- even in areas not exposed to sun. It can be helpful to do the exam with a partner or use a mirror or two to see out of sight areas.
What are you looking for?
Become familiar with your own skin- know your birthmarks, blemishes and moles so you can spot any changes. Look for any changes in size, color, texture or shape and report them to your healthcare provider.
Signs of skin cancer include:
You can download a free "Body Mole Map" to keep track of your moles and learn more about sun safety.
This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series: Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Prevention Webchat. View the entire transcript on Sun Safety.