Look how tan Dad & I are in this picture, and how we are proudly sporting the ever so fashionably bright neon! Yes, kids, this was a fashion statement decades ago, too. This photo was taken back in the late 80’s, maybe early 90’s. I was a total sun baby and basically grew up on the water from age five. Boat clubs, water skiing, knee boarding, camping, Grandma’s cabin at Round Butte, everything that involved massive amounts of sun, water, and the outdoors. We would wake up and head straight to the river to play …all day…with little sunscreen. I say ‘little’ because, we probably did not apply it as often as we should have. After all, Dad and I were ‘blessed’ with the ability to get real real tan, without burning, and sunscreen was just to keep you from burning, right? At least that was the consensus in our household decades ago. Today is a different story. And, today I say something that explains such a different story. This month I was faced with the scary possibility that all of that fun in the sun may have turned horribly wrong.
Luckily, as a trained aesthetician, I know the ABCDE’s of what to look for in moles to help detect possible skin cancer, and when to recommend that someone visit a doctor. And that is exactly what I did, recommend that that person visit a doctor, right away. Thankfully, the doctor ruled the moles as non cancerous.
I would like to share these ABCDE’s with you, so that you will have the tools to check out your loved ones, and yourself, and increase the early detection of melanoma and non melanoma skin cancer. The early detection of moles significantly reduces the chance of skin cancer. This is why learning the ABCDE rule for skin cancer is so important. If you are already familiar with these ABCDE’s, then please use this guide as a refresher, and if you are new to these ABCDE’s, then I hope this can be of some help to you and your family.
As a general rule, take note of any new moles or growths, and any existing growths that begin to grow or change significantly in any other way. Moles or spots that change, itch, bleed, or don’t heal are also warning signs to have them looked at by a doctor.