Melanoma: The 10-Second Skin Cancer Test That Can Save Your Life
This year, nearly 70,000 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma, the most dangerous skin cancer. To ward off this deadly disease, early detection is critical.
- Irregular moles, growths and patches
Skin Cancer Risk Factors
Risk #1: You Have Light Hair and Eye Color
If you have light hair and eye color, that means you don’t have as much melanin, or pigment, as darker-skinned people; the more melanin you have, the greater the skin’s defensive reaction to damaging UV rays. Still, people with darker skin/hair color are not immune to skin cancer.
Risk #2: You Had 1 or More Severe Sunburns as a Child
Sunburns are a result of skin cells going into shock; this signals your body to overproduce cells, which can cause malignancies. Be sure to use an ample amount of sunscreen – apply at least a shot-glass-amount of SPF 30 every 1-2 hours.
Skin Cancer Prevention Solutions
Dr. Oz’s 10-Second Skin Cancer Test
You’ll need a number 2 pencil with an unused eraser. Check your most obvious moles against the eraser head by using this ABCDE guide:
A: Is it asymmetrical? (The eraser head is symmetrical and the mole should be too.)
B: Is the border as clearly defined?
C: What color is it? Color should be brown or black and consistent.
D: Diameter should be no larger than the eraser.
E: Pay attention to its evolution. Make it a habit to check your birthday suit on your birthday, including nails, scalp and toes.
If you’re concerned about a mole after trying this test, take a picture of it. Put a ruler up next to it when you take the picture. Then place the picture on your calendar and measure it again every month to see if it’s changing. If so, see your dermatologist immediately.
For further help performing a self-exam and tracking your moles, click here for a mole chart.
Join the fight against skin cancer by donating to the Melanoma Research Alliance. Click here to make a donation.