For most of us holiday traditions include family parties, great food, lighting all sorts of candles and piles of brightly wrapped gifts. In our home we have added a new holiday radition– an annual skin cancer check. As a heath and beauty writer I wrote about skin cancer, but myself went decades between skin check-ups. Then a random physical office visit uncovered skin cancer in my husband and a precancerous spot on my leg. If you’ve ever waited for a biopsy, you will want to do anything to avoid a repeat episode. We vowed to have an annual skin check but the months kept rolling by.
I relaized that a needed a date that would always trigger a reminder– and the winter holiday season seemed perfect. Like who can ignore this time of year with glowing menorahs and bejeweled trees everywhere you look. Our annual holiday skin check is now as much as part of the season as candy canes and latkes. And to show you that a full skin check is quick, easy and painless, MaryLou of Second Lives Club photographed my skin check with Dr Ellen Marmur and Jackie of Aging Backwards turned the photos into a great slide video. Covered by almost all insurance plans, IMO a full body skin check is the most important gift of the year.
The Skin Check for Cancer– Close-Up and Personal
The full skin check starts at the top of the head and ends up at the tips and sides of the toes. (FYI the Reggae great Bob Marley died of melanoma that started as a small spot between his toes.) Skin cancer can take many forms from a small red spot to a slightly raised tan patch to a tiny dark freckle-like spot. Dr Marmur, an internationally respected skin cancer surgeon, uses a polarized magnifying glass to help her her judge the depth and texture of a spot. An annual skin check with Dr marmur will allow her to digitally track old spots as well as find new ones that cropped up.
Use the holidays as a reminder to make an appointment for a skin check. Its a gift that keeps on giving.