Since they present signs which are visible to the naked eye, skin cancers are relatively easy to detect. If they are treated in time – i.e., early in their development – they can be cured without a relapse in 90% of cases.
MySkinCheck: self-surveillance for early detection
Myskincheck.org is an informative, interactive site which is available to everyone and relays skin cancer prevention actions developed at the national level. An initiative of La Roche-Posay Laboratories implemented by a committee of experts who are skin cancer specialists, Myskincheck.org is backed by the Euromelanoma Group and other dermatological associations which organize screening days. It encourages self-surveillance, which is now recognized by experts around the world as an essential step in early detection, the key to healing.
The ABCDE method
Sur MySkinCheck.org, you will learn how to:
1. Evaluate your personal risk,
2. Keep an eye on moles using a new tool, the mole checker,
3. Adopt a responsible approach to the sun.
Using a simple method, you will be able to map and follow any changes in moles which are a cause of concern.
How do you carry out self-surveillance?
With the help of a diagram and a video, you can examine your entire body by yourself, area by area. Surveillance is first done using the naked eye, then with a full-body mirror, and finally with a hand-held mirror to locate suspicious moles. This examination takes from ten to fifteen minutes.
What is a suspicious mole?
This is a mole which seems different from the others: one which is thicker, which has changed in size, color or thickness, or which appeared recently.
The ABCDE method is based on a search for five clinical evaluation criteria:
- Borders which are irregular,
- Color which is uneven,
- Diameter greater than 6 mm,
- Evolution of the lesion.
If a change has recently occurred, consult with a dermatologist as quickly as possible. Please remember that Myskincheck.org does not substitute your dermatologist in any way. He or she is the only one who can provide a definitive diagnosis in case of suspicious lesions and decide whether treatment should be started.
Key figures for skin cancer
One out of three cancers is a skin cancer. Over two million skin cancers are diagnosed worldwide each year.
For twenty years, skin cancers have shown the largest increase. In Europe, skin cancer rates increase by 5% to 7% annually.
But…screening saves lives!
90%* of skin cancers can be cured if they are detected early.
*French Syndicate of Dermatologists and Venereologists / March 10, 2008
Lifestyle, environment and carelessness
The development of outdoor activities and the practice of “sun bathing” or tanning with artificial UVs, combined with the continued depletion of the ozone layer, enable explaining these troubling trends. Carelessness is also a factor. There is a notable discrepancy between awareness of risks and actual behavior: 90% of people say they are aware of the risks tied to sun exposure but less than 60% use photo-protection.
AFSSAPS Workgroup on Solar Protection / Report No. 5 / July 2003
WHO website: www.who.int
La Roche-Posay: continued commitment to skin cancer prevention
La Roche-Posay is a pioneering sun protection brand. It was one of the first to:
- warn about the dangers of excessive exposure to the sun,
- demonstrate the role of UVAs in skin allergies and cancers.
- being a Melanoma Day partner,
- supporting the training of dermatologists in screening,
- teaching about self-surveillance with MySkinCheck.org,
- increasing awareness of how to adopt a responsible attitude.
What is Melanoma Day?
Melanoma Day is a vast screening operation which is free of charge and is organized in Europe by the Euromelanoma Group and by other dermatological associations throughout the world. In 2009, over 7,350 dermatologists were mobilized in 25 countries. Over 95,000 patients were examined, 9,397 cancerous lesions were detected and 109 melanomas were treated. In 2011, La Roche-Posay extended support to 30 countries.