Skin Checking Behaviours, Taking a Pro-Active Approach, and the Power of the Selfie

Let’s talk about behaviour.  An extremely large number of people who know the realities of Melanoma are readily and regularly performing skin checks and visiting their doctors.  Many, however, do not expect skin cancer to affect them at all. MASScot wants to encourage a pro-active approach to potential Skin Cancers, as early diagnosis is absolutely key to survival.

We can learn a lot from people’s initial reactions to the skin abnormalities which turned out to be Skin Cancers – if we notice this behaviour in ourselves, maybe we will think twice.  Confronting Skin Cancer is the most effective way of preventing it from spreading, but of course we would feel anxious to do this – naturally procrastination and trivialising are commonplace. For instance:

This journalist allowed her beauty therapist to “attempt to pop” her Basal Cell Carcinoma.

This US woman, having had a mole removed years earlier, put the pain of her Melanoma down to a “pulled muscle”.

The actor Hugh Jackman only visited the doctor about a skin abnormality on the advice of his wife, saying “Boy, was she right!”

This woman was ‘diagnosed’ with a “fatty cyst”, calling it a “stress pimple”.

The lesson here is, don’t rule out Skin Cancer.  If you experience a mysterious pain, persistent spot, crusty mole, annoying scab – face up to the possibility, visit your GP as soon as possible, and tackle the issue head on.

We’d like to take this opportunity to suggest introducing a positive behaviour into your routine – that is, the #Selfie.

After inserting the 2013 word of the year into your routine for a little while, and taking a scroll through your ‘selfies’ folder every now and then – you might notice a little scab or spot that has remained for longer than it perhaps should.  If you’re not equipped with a smartphone, any kind of camera will do fine.

We know how it is to procrastinate and feel puzzled by the act of skin checking and keeping track of time.  Daily or regular selfies can be a concrete way to tackle that confusion you may be feeling with a little act of harmless vanity- whether you choose to Facebook or Instagram your efforts is up to you!

Let’s get down to technique: Wikihow suggests: “Keep the sun or other light source in front of you, a bit above eye level, for the most flattering shot.”  Having the light source in front of your face will also make your skin easier to examine and compare at a later date.

Confront skin cancer, practise self love and feel more in control by being pro-active and familiar with your own skin.

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