Skin cancer and melanoma checks to practice this May
The month of May is known for various health awareness initiatives, but perhaps the most important with the warm weather on the horizon is the arrival of National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Awareness and Prevention Month. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the disease is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., afflicting more than two million people each year.
However, skin cancer is very treatable if it is detected early, which is why dermatologists all over the U.S. are using this month’s initiative to spread awareness and encourage individuals to perform self-checks throughout the summer months. Did you know that a visit with the dermatologist qualifies as an FSA (Flexible Spending Account) eligible expense? Spotting an abnormal mole or growth on your skin earlier could mean the difference between a quick procedure to remove it or a potentially life-threatening condition.
Here are a few tips from FSA Store to help you perform skin cancer and melanoma checks year-round to stop a potential problem in its tracks.
Skin cancer checks
Each month, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that people should perform a step-by-step self-examination. Use mirrors to get a clear view of your skin from every angle, and even use a blow dryer to carefully inspect your scalp for any signs of skin cancers. Skin cancer can form in some truly unexpected places, such as underneath fingernails, on underarms and even in private areas, so make sure you go over every inch of your body during these checks to err on the side of caution.
Know how to spot melanoma
Melanoma is among the most dangerous skin cancers that could potentially spread to other organs in the body and can even be fatal in some cases. The Skin Cancer Foundation has a simple system that can help you determine if a mole or growth is cancerous – the ABCDEs of Melanoma. First off, if the growth is Asymmetrical with uneven Borders, these are telltale signs that the spot could be cancerous. Pay attention to Color, as growths with varying hues are major warning signs.
Lastly, the Diameter of the mole and how it Evolves in shape over time could point to danger. When you spot these growths, make an appointment with a dermatologist and track how the mole changes over time so your doctor can have all the information necessary to make a proper diagnosis.
Take advantage of free skin cancer screenings
During National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Awareness and Prevention Month, the American Academy of Dermatology is hosting free screenings all over the U.S.. Dermatologists offer their time and expertise free of charge to interested individuals, and if it is requested, a full body check can be arranged in a private setting. For those who don’t feel confident with their own self-examination skills, this is a quick and easy way to take charge of your skin health.
While regular checks for skin cancer are vital, practicing proper sun care year-round is just as important! If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you can pick up a wide range of FSA eligible products at FSAstore.com. From sunscreens to lip balm to aloe treatments, we have everything you’ll need to safeguard your loved ones this summer!