How to check for Skin Cancer

Here is a simple guide to help you check your skin and recognise the early signs of skin cancer.

Sore

A spot which is sore (scaly, itchy, bleeding, tender) and doesn’t heal within 6 weeks.

Changing

Changing in size, shape, colour or texture.

Abnormal

Looks different, feels different, or stands out when compared to your other spots and moles.

New

Has appeared on your skin recently. Any new moles or spots should be checked, especially if you are over 40.

  • The more of the above SCAN features a spot or mole has the more concerning it may be. (e.g. a New mole that is Changing in appearance and that is Abnormal is one that should be checked by a doctor urgently.)
  • Most people have made all their moles by the time they are 40. A new mole after this age is more suspicious, and the older you are the more suspicious a new mole is.
  • If you do find a spot or mole of concern, see your doctor for either a “spot check”, or a full skin check.
  • Become familiar with the spots and moles on your skin. You should check your own, and/or your partner’s, skin regularly.

 

It’s your doctor’s job to diagnose skin cancer, but you will know better than anyone else if something on your skin is Sore, Changing, Abnormal or New.

Remember – together with sun protection, early detection is your best defence against skin cancer.

Remember...the most effective management for skin cancer is early detection and treatment.