Many people prefer to get those suspicious moles or unusual lesions in hard to see spaces checked by a friend or family member. A recent study found these skin checks not only assist in spotting skin cancer early, but also help strengthening the bond between the two people.
The research was conducted by Dr. June Robinson, research professor of dermatology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago and published in JAMA Dermatology on September 30th 2015.
When it comes to cancers, skin cancer happens to be the most common of all. While the cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are more frequently reported, they are not as dangerous as melanoma, which is the deadliest of all. Also, people who have had a history of melanoma are 10 times more likely to develop melanomas in the future. Early detection of suspicious lesions and moles on the skin holds the key to prevention of melanoma, because the identification of such suspicious spots before they become melanoma can actually save your life.
However, it is not easy to properly examine the entire body on your own as there are certain ‘hard to see’ areas such as the back, scalp, back of neck, so it is important to consider the help of others in order to get a full body scan.
The research was conducted on 500 melanoma survivors and their partners who performed skin examinations for them. Some melanoma survivors had their significant others performing the skin-checks, but there were others whose skin-check partners were friends, parents or a child.
Some of the participant melanoma survivors were also widows who lived alone and the research team asked them if they could bring along someone who would not mind performing such skin examinations for them. Most of them either brought a woman friend or a close relative.
Out of 500 pairs of patients and partners, around 400 were asked to undergo skin examination training so that they would know how to assess the moles; the others did not receive any training. The people who received training were invited to a skin specialist’s clinic to examine their partner’s back.
The research team found the training significantly improved patients’ confidence levels in performing such skin-checks. However, it was the bonding with their friends that also had a considerable impact on improving their confidence levels.
It was also found that friends who had not spent a great amount of time with each other earlier benefited the most from the training. Robinson and her team also concluded that pairs who performed melanoma skin-checks together also improved quality of their relationships.
If you suspect skin cancer or it has been more than 12 months since your last examination, you can visit SunDoctors Skin Cancer Clinics , which offer exceptional skin cancer detection services. Alternatively call SunDoctors on 13SKIN (137546) to make an appointment to have your skin checked.