Finding a spot on your skin that looks like skin cancer can be extremely frightening, however, it is important not to let your anxieties overcome you and to understand that most cases are treatable if they are caught early enough. If you believe that you are suffering from skin cancer then it is important to follow the below steps as early as possible and ensure that you get in front of a skin doctor quickly for diagnosis and treatment.
If you think that you have spotted signs of skin cancer on your body:
Check other parts of the body to see if there are any other spots of concern. After you’ve identified a spot that you believe is skin cancer you should get to a doctor as soon as you can. However, while you are waiting for your appointment or the doctor’s office to open it might be a good idea to check the rest of your body for signs of skin cancer.
- When looking for skin cancer you should look for any spots that are irregular in colour, size or shape, any new spot or any that have recently changed. Make sure to also check parts of your body that are hard to see such as the back, neck and scalp. You might wish to ask a friend or family member for help. Some people even use two mirrors to gain better visibility. If too difficult, it is advised to book an appointment at a skin cancer clinic for a full check
- Write down any symptoms you might have noticed and any questions you might have for the doctor. While waiting at the doctor’s office or while at home before the appointment you might wish to write down any symptoms you’ve noticed in the growth of your spot. You should concentrate on things like: when did you first notice it, how has it grown and changed and any medical history you or your family might have had with skin cancer.
- See a skin doctor. Skin doctors specialise in skin conditions, identifying signs of skin cancer and have the tools for the job of diagnosing and treating it.
- Your doctor will excise or biopsy the spot if there is suspicion for skin cancer. If the spot is of particular concern you might ask your doctor if it is a good idea to have it removed as a precaution while it is still being tested. Our doctors will remove a suspicious looking spot which allow for the biopsy of the skin to be examined by the pathologist under a microscope to assess for potential skin cancer.
- Check your skin once a month. After your spot has been tested and removed if it posed a risk it is important to continue checking your skin. Whether you had skin cancer or not it is a good idea to check around once a month to ensure that you keep monitoring the changes and potential risks to your body.