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Why should I perform a skin self-exam?

By examining your skin on a regular basis, you may notice the earliest sign of any type of skin change or new lesion. You live in your body day in and day out and you should notice changes first. Seeing a doctor is the first step you should take if you notice something new or different. He or she can reassure you if it is something serious or not, and discuss whether you may need a skin biopsy for further evaluation.

Statistics show that approximately 50% of all people are likely to suffer from skin cancer by age 65, so everyone should know how to perform skin self-exams to spot potential problems. Self-exams may help lead to treatment in the earliest stage of skin cancer, when outcomes are best. Basal and squamous cell carcinomas have a cure rate of up to 90% with early detection and treatment. Even deadly melanoma may be cured if identified and treated early enough.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.