Video shows how to check skin for cancer

Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:51 PM
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SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Oct. 14 (UPI) -- The American Academy of Dermatology says its new video demonstrates how a U.S. adult can check his or her own skin for skin cancer.

Dr. Thomas E. Rohrer, a board-certified dermatologist in Chestnut Hill, Mass., said current estimates show 20 percent of U.S. adults will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime, so it's important to be familiar with your skin, especially moles.

"Checking your skin for skin cancer only requires your eyes and a mirror," Rohrer said in a statement. "Examining your skin only takes a few minutes, but it could save your life."

The video the "Skin Self-Exam: How to Do," said when examining skin, look for the "ABCDEs" of Melanoma and see a board-certified dermatologist if any moles exhibit these signs:

-- A, Asymmetry: One half of the spot is unlike the other half.

-- B, Border: The spot has an irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.

-- C, Color: The spot has varying colors from one area to the next, such as shades of tan, brown, or black, or with areas of white, red or blue.

-- D, Diameter: Melanomas are usually greater than the size of a pencil eraser when they are diagnosed, but they can be smaller.

-- E, Evolving: A mole or spot on your skin that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape, or color.

To check skin, looking at the front and back of the body, in front of a mirror and:

-- Raise the arms and examine the right and left sides of the body.

-- Bend the elbows and look carefully at forearms, upper underarms and palms.

-- Examine the back of legs, spaces between toes and soles.

-- Examine hard-to see areas like the back, buttocks and the top of the head by using a mirror.

The video is posted to the academy's website and YouTube.

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