Skin cancer is a widely prevalent form of cancer around the world. It can be treated if there is early detection but can have deadly results if it is not treated. Therefore, it is important to have skin cancer checks for early detection.

Skin cancer will occur when abnormal cells in your skin grow uncontrollably.

These cells can then form lesions or tumours. There are many types of skin cancer such as squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. Melanoma is less common compared to other types but it is the most deadly type of skin cancer leading to the highest number of skin cancer deaths. Checking for skin cancer is a priority and detecting it early on can increase the chances of successful treatment. The risk of complications or the cancer spreading to other parts of the body is low when detected early on. And with regular skin checks, healthcare professionals can detect and identify suspicious lesions early on even before they become visible to the naked eye. Everyone should go for skin cancer checks and this is regardless of skin type, age, history of sun exposure etc. But there are individuals that have a higher risk of developing skin cancer who need to have more frequent screenings. For example, if you have fair skin, a family history of skin cancer, a history of sunburns or excessive exposure to the sun or if you have a personal history of skin cancer, it is best to go for frequent checks.


That are trained in dermatology such as dermatologists will perform skin cancer checks. During a check-up,, the healthcare provider will examine the entire surface of your skin. This will include hard to reach areas of your skin such as between the toes, scalp and behind the ears. They will be looking for irregularities such as freckles, moles or lesions that can be in precancerous stages or indicate skin cancer. When you go for a skin cancer check, there will be a visual examination of your skin carried out. This will be done by a magnifying device that is handheld. This is called a dermascope and it can be used to examine suspicious lesions closely. The healthcare provider will ask you about your medical history such as your family history, habits of sun exposure, previous skin cancer diagnoses etc.

If a suspicious lesion is found, they will recommend further evaluation or testing.

This can be a skin biopsy where a small sample of tissue will be taken from the lesion. This ample will be sent to a lab to be analysed. Further treatment will depend on the results of the biopsy. Sometimes there will be targeted therapies and there can be surgical removal of the lesion. It is important for you to perform self-skin exams at home. You will need a full length mirror for this. You have to examine your skin from head to toe and check freckles, moles or lesions closely. A mirror can be used to check hard to reach areas like the scalp and the back of your neck.