It’s so important to know how to detect skin cancer early – with a skin cancer screening by a dermatologist!
Every winter, as women around the country put away their sunscreen, bikinis, and razors, they forget to check their bodies for the damage the summer sun may have caused. I have extremely busy skin, spattered with freckles of all shapes, sizes, and colors, so I should probably visit a dermatologist for a skin cancer screening once a year. Sadly, up until last month, I had only been once.
How do you Detect Skin Cancer Early?
The last time I had a skin cancer screening I was 23 years old, about to get married in Florida, and planning for a trip to Hawaii. I thought it would be a good idea to have my freckles checked before I hopped in a tanning bed to bronze myself before the big day. After a quick look at my skin, the dermatologist removed a small suspicious spot from my inner calf – a common area of a woman’s body for cancerous moles – but it was thankfully nothing to worry about. She didn’t tell me to avoid the tanning bed, but said to come back next year.
Since then, I’ve had quite a few freckles and strange spots appear. Pregnancy can do a number on a woman’s body, so there have been moles popping up in random places all over my body for the last four years. I’ve been lazy and quite frankly, too frightened to have them checked – especially a large spot on my chest. However, I know the best way to detect skin cancer early is to be aware of how your skin changes by giving self-exams and to visit a dermatologist. (source)
My Annual Skin Cancer Screening
My friend owns the Dermatology Center of Connecticut, so I put on my big girl pants to have her check me out. You can watch the entire process – from the anxious car ride there to the full body screening – and listen to what she has to say about the importance of having your skin checked at least once a year. One big takeaway – wear a moisturizer with an SPF on your face EVERY DAY… not just in the summer. The sun is shining year round, so protect your precious self.
A special thanks to Dermatology Center of Connecticut and Elizabeth Grant Photography for collaborating on this post.
LOVE this post! Thank you so very much for sharing your screening experience. I am a firm believer in caring for your skin, for sure sharing this post with my girlfriends! 🙂
I was so bad about it when I was in my 20s, but now YES to SPF every day!
Amanda @ Anchored to Sunshine says
Such an important post and important message! I grew up in Florida and have always been in the sun. I have dark skin and dark hair so skin cancer isn’t as common for my type of person, but it can still happen. I was 26 when the doctor did a biopsy on a hand freckle and the results came back that it was stage zero melanoma. Stage. Zero. Melanoma…. For what I thought was just a standard freckle. I was shocked. I had to go in and get the rest of the infected cells removed, and then a whole lot of stitched up my hand to seal me back up. To this day whenever I hear a young person say they “forgot” sunscreen I give them my story and I just pray that it gets one person putting on more sunscreen or going to get a skin check. It can really happen to anyone. Thank you for sharing your story!
This was so informative! Thank you for this blog post!
Linda Golka says
I had a tiny mole removed on the top of my foot last summer. Luckily it was not cancer, but had grown & changed shape in a 6 month timeframe. Tops of feet need sunscreen also