One of the most effective ways for preventing skin cancer involves getting a mole check on a regular basis. That way, a dermatologist will examine all suspicious growths on your body and will determine if some have to be removed. As a result, the risk of a cancerous growth developing over time will be reduced to the very possible minimum. The question is whether you require such checks and how often you should get them.
Mole Check and Skin Cancer Risk
In general, any person has to have his/her moles examined. This is because no one is completely safe from skin cancer. However, some people have a greater need for frequent skin exams. The list includes those with fair complexion, blond or red hair and light coloured eyes.
Individuals who have a lot of freckles or over 50 small moles on their body are also at greater risk and should definitely get checked on a regular basis. The same applies to those who have over 6 moles with diameter greater than or equal to 6 mm.
The risk of skin cancer increases with age. That is why it makes sense for you to get a mole check right away if your skin has never been examined when you were younger. At the same time, this does not mean that younger people should not get examined.
Children are highly unlikely to get cancerous skin growths, but you have to know that melanoma, in particular, is becoming more and more common in young adults. That is why it is best for young people to get frequent checks from their late adolescence onwards.
Individuals who are regularly exposed to the harmful UV rays of the sun should get their skinned examined frequently as well. This applies to all people who work outside from gardeners to road workers. Athletes who practice outdoors belong to this group as well.
Mole Check Frequency
When you get your first exam, your doctor will be able to tell you how frequently you need to get checked in the future. Most people will require a check annually or semi-annually. If any suspicious yet benign growths have been identified, you may have to have exams more often. If a growth is highly likely to become cancerous, it will be removed straight away.
It is important for any person to be disciplined when it comes to his/her mole check schedule. You should never miss an appointment. If you cannot visit the doctor's office on the set date, you should reschedule the appointment to the nearest date possible.