Updating the rules for skin cancer checks

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Finding and treating cancer early may help prevent the disease from spreading.

Exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays that come from the sun plays a major role in causing skin cancer.

The screening checks the skin for moles, birthmarks, or other marks that are unusual in color, size, shape, or texture. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States.

The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell and squamous cell cancers.

You'll also need a hand mirror to check areas that are hard to see.

The exam should include the following steps: The exam should take 10-15 minutes. Be sure to wear your hair loose, so your provider can examine your scalp. There are no risks to having a skin cancer screening.

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However, they can also be lighter in color or pink in color. If you notice any of these warning signs, see a dermatologist promptly.Look for anything new, changing or unusual on both sun-exposed and sun-protected areas of the body.Melanomas commonly appear on the legs of women, and the number one place they develop on men is the trunk.Most moles, brown spots and growths on the skin are harmless – but not always. If you draw a line through the middle of the lesion, the two halves don’t match, so it looks different from a round to oval and symmetrical common mole. Melanoma borders tend to be uneven and may have scalloped or notched edges, while common moles tend to have smoother, more even borders. Varied shades of brown, tan or black may be the first sign of melanoma.The first five letters of the alphabet can be used as an easy guide to help you recognize the warning signs of melanoma. As melanomas progress, the colors red, white or blue may appear.

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