Every year in the month of November, we love seeing our patients and male colleagues rocking mustaches for a good cause. That cause, of course, is Movember, the organization and movement seeking to reduce the number of premature deaths in men.
Their claim to fame is asking people to grow mustaches to raise awareness about men's health issues. Yes - even under your masks - we see your support.
While Movember focuses on suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer, our Movember celebration (naturally) includes skin cancer prevention. Performing a monthly skin self-check also helps men prevent premature deaths. So, what does a self-check entail? Just follow the five steps below:
+ Examine your body, front and back, in a full-length mirror, paying special attention to your legs
+ Bend your elbows and examine your forearms, the back of your upper arms, and your palms
+ Look at your feet, including the spaces between your toes
+ Use a hand mirror to look at the back of your neck and your scalp
+ Examine your buttock and back with a hand mirror
As your examine your skin, how can you tell the difference between ordinary moles and ones that require attention from a board-certified dermatologist? As the American Academy of Dermatology says, you can use the ABCDE trick as your guide. Make an appointment if you see:
| Asymmetrical moles
| Borders of spots that are patchy and uneven
| Colorful moles or moles that change in color
| Diameters of spots that are large
| Evolving moles
If your skin check comes out clear--and we hope it does--you should still make a yearly appointment
with a board-certified dermatologist to get care from an expert. With enough attention and preventative measures, you can lower the number of early deaths from cancer. That's worth celebrating, during Movember and all year round.