How a mirror could save your life

Let me ask you a personal question. How often do look at yourself in the mirror? And brushing your teeth and combing your hair don’t count. I’m talking about looking at every inch of your skin. The reason I’m asking is because I just read a study about how skin cancer survivors don’t regularly check their skin. It was alarming news, to say the least. And I thought you should know about it.

Because skin cancer is by far the most common type of any cancer. And no one is exempt. If you have light skin, you have more of a risk, but even people with dark skin can get skin cancer.

And while melanoma is much less common than basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers, it is far more dangerous because it can spread rapidly.

Currently there are more than 70,000 people diagnosed with melanoma every year in the US. And if rates of continue to rise at the current pace, that number will skyrocket to 112,000 new cases in 2030.

So with these alarming statistics, researchers at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey conducted a study to see if people who already had one round of melanoma were diligent about regularly checking their skin for any new suspect spots. And what they found was quite disturbing. Fewer than 15% regularly examined ALL parts of their body. And they rarely used mirrors or had someone help them check areas that were hard to see.

The reasons they gave for not doing follow up skin checks included things like “I didn’t think of it” and “I didn’t know what to look for.”

They also said their doctors didn’t perform regular skin exams on them, and never told them they should be doing a skin check at home.

This is another potentially deadly example of mainstream doctors falling short when it comes to how they care for their patients.

So, once again you need to be your own advocate. You should be doing regular skin checks regardless of whether or not you’ve ever been diagnosed with skin cancer before. And you should be doing them even more frequently if you have.

In case you’re not familiar with it, here’s the general “ABCDE” rule for detecting melanoma:

A: Asymmetry. The spot isn’t a perfect circle.

B: Border irregularity. Edges of the spot may appear notched or “bumpy” rather than smooth and even

C: Color. A spot that appears mottled or is more than one single shade. (Also, brown and black aren’t the only colors. Melanoma can be pink, tan, or white)

D: Diameter. Spots over 1/4 inch.

E: Evolution. The spot has grown larger or changed color over time.

If you find something that looks suspicious, don’t wait to have it checked out. Catching melanoma early could save your life.

And don’t forget, there are plenty of things you can do — starting right now — to reduce your risk of melanoma. Like taking vitamin A. And even drinking coffee.

For a detailed guide on cancer-proofing your entire body — inside and out — check out my report Cancer-Free for Life.