February has been named National Self-Check Month to raise awareness about the importance of regular self-checks for both men and women. Self-exams are something most people forget or just plain avoiding doing, but they’re actually very important for early detection of any abnormalities and possibly cancer.
Breast self-exams are a way for you to check your breasts for changes, such as lumps or thickenings. You’ll look at and feel both breasts. If you notice anything unusual, tell your doctor. In many cases, those changes aren’t cancer, but you need to see your doctor to find out.
Testicular self-exams are important to notice changes in one’s testicles. By doing the monthly testicular self-exams, you should become familiar with your testicles thus making it easier to notice any changes. Most testicular cancers are found by men themselves or their partner, very few are found by a physician.
Self Skin Checks are important to monitor changes to your skin, the largest external organ of the body. Because skin cancers appear in many shapes and sizes, it’s important to know the warning signs and to watch for changes to your skin. Watch for changing growths or moles, itchy or hurting spots, and open sores that don’t heal within three weeks.
Besides self-checks, it's important to have an annual physical with your primary care physician and a full body exam annually with a dermatologist. Use the links below to discover more about our family medicine and dermatology services and providers.