Early detection of skin cancer can be life saving, and some dermatologists are recommending a new way to protect yourself: the buddy system.
A recent study showed success with early detection of skin cancer when partners were trained to check each other for warning signs of melanoma.
In the study, pairs of people were given specific training on recognizing skin concerns, like a change in the border, color and diameter of moles. During the 2-year study, 43 new melanomas were spotted by these skin check partners, who were able to alert a doctor and seek early treatment.
Melanoma is a serious concern, and the cancer rate is rising steadily. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 85,000 new melanomas will be diagnosed this year, and more than 9,000 people will likely die from melanoma.
But prevention and vigilance can be lifesavers. Here are some helpful resources from the American Cancer Society:
Learn to recognize the early warning signs of skin cancer, and partner with someone to check each other for skin changes. If you have questions about skin protection or reversing the effects of sun damage on your skin, contact our Skin Institute and Laser Center. And as always, if you're concerned about any suspicious areas on your skin, you should see your doctor.