Are you checking your partner’s skin?
Noticing a suspicious mole on your skin can be tricky, especially if the mole is located somewhere less visible, like your back. Enlisting help from a partner could potentially save your life. Partners can help spot the moles we miss on our own skin while being on the lookout for signs of skin cancer.
According to the World Health Organization, there are 232,000 new cases of melanoma worldwide each year and the incidence rate has doubled since 1973. Though melanoma accounts for less than 5 pct. of skin cancer cases it is the most aggressive form but still highly treatable when caught early.
And though women are nine times more likely to notice spots that turn out to be melanoma on others than men, anyone can help examine their partner’s skin. Many of us look at our partners more frequently than we look at ourselves, making us the perfect candidate to help spot worrisome moles or spots.
During May, which is Melanoma/ Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, the American Academy of Dermatology is encouraging women to check themselves and their partners for signs of skin cancer.
Men over 50 have an increased risk of melanoma. Since women are more likely to notice melanoma symptoms, they can help the men in their lives by examining their skin.
A survey carried out by the American Academy of Dermatology of married women age 40-64 found that almost half of women thought they would be more likely than their husbands to spot a suspicious mole on his skin.
Over two-thirds of the women examined their own skin but less than half helped their husbands do skin-checks. 37% of the husbands did their own skin self-exams. In terms of getting more men to check their own skin and perhaps enlisting the help of more women to assist their partners, there is room for improvement.
Most people know that using sunscreen and avoiding excessive tanning in the sun or in tanning beds are all ways to decrease the risk of developing skin cancer. Doing your own skin checks, either alone or with a partner, is another way to be proactive about your skin’s health.
Next time you see your partner, show your love by checking their skin. By helping to protect their skin, you may be protecting their life as well. While you’re checking their skin, be sure to check your own as well.
To get started, check out our guide for using the ABCDE method to help track moles and spots.