A recent study has found that people who have suffered from melanoma in the past do not self-examine their skin on a regular basis. In fact, the findings of the studies suggest that less than 15 percent of the melanoma patients check their skin regularly.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, which claims thousands of lives every year. The survival rate for melanoma relies a great deal on the stage at which it is detected, which is why early detection is crucial.
A study conducted by Eliot Coups, a behavioural scientist at Rutgers Cancer Institute New Jersey reviewed a group of 176 people who had suffered from malignant melanoma.
The study found that a majority of the people in the study either did not undertake self-examination seriously or simply did not know what to look for when performing such examinations. There were also a few participants who were unaware of the benefits of performing regular skin checks at all.
Participants were asked to answer questions about skin examinations using a quiz format. The results revealed that while 72% of the participants had performed skin-checks in the past two months, only 14% performed a thorough examination. Only 13% used full-length mirrors for examination, 11% used handheld mirrors and 9% asked for assistance from others to perform their skin check. There were also a few participants who did not conduct self-examination at all and relied on their doctors to perform it for them.
The study also revealed that the participants who were highly educated and knew how to conduct such examinations were usually the ones who performed skin examinations on a regular basis.
However, the study also revealed that most of the participants did not know how to conduct skin-checks properly.
They also appeared to be ill informed on how to effectively use a mirror to find suspicious eruptions or moles on their skin. According to Cancer Council Australia, if there is a change in the shape, size or colour of the mole, then it should be treated as a warning sign. Also, moles with abnormal sizes or irregular borders should be paid attention to as they might also be an indicator of skin cancer.
Watch Joey describe his experience of fighting Melanoma at a young age: