Annual Skin Cancer Screening- Are You Doing It?

by Monday, August 21, 2017

If you have been following my blog for some time, you probably know that I am a sunscreen queen!  I think that sunscreen is the number one beauty product you can use to keep your skin looking youthful, fresh and glowing.  I wrote a whole post about it here with tips on how to make the most of your SPF and make it work in your favor now and for many, many years to come.

I am also a believer in the idea that most people look better with a tan.  Super contradictory, I know.  Maybe it is the New Jersey in me coming out??  But either way, a golden glow looks good on basically everyone.  BUT I don’t think that worshiping the sun is worth the extra glow you get from it in the long run.

I am a fair-skinned person.  Don’t let that tan in my photos fool you, it is a fake tan…I pride myself on being a bottle bronze master- tips here!   If I let my skin go “au naturale”  it is really fair and almost see-through in certain areas…hello veins!  Of course, the more I am in the sun, the more color my skin gets.  But I wear so much self tanner and so much sunscreen that I don’t really know my skins full tanning capabilities…and to be honest, I don’t really care.  I like to protect my skin from the sun as much as possible- I want to look good as I age and I want to fend off cancer as much as possibly can.

Skin cancer is the number one cancer among young adults age 25-29.

That’s crazy you guys.

Cancer sucks.  We can all agree on that.  And if there are simple ways to protect yourself from getting cancer, why not?

Wearing sunscreen and trying to stay out of the sun as much as possible is great, but we are also human and we have to live our lives.  There is no point in living a fearful life where you don’t do the things you love because of possible bad outcomes.  It is good to be mindful and practice sun safety, but it is basically impossible to NEVER expose your skin to harmful sun rays.

And that is where skin screenings come in.

Early detection is everything when it comes to cancer, especially skin cancer/melanoma.  It is also something that we can see, unlike your internal organs.  We look at our skin and our moles daily so it should be pretty easy to identify a mole-gone-wrong or something that doesn’t look right….right?

Maybe, but also not really.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t pay much attention to the moles on my back, the freckles on my toes, what’s going on on my scalp underneath my hair etc.  I’m also not a doctor trained to know exactly what to look for.  So you can totally do self-screenings, but having a professional involved is the best bet, in my opinion.

So about 5 years about I started going to the dermatologist for annual skin screenings where they look EVERYWHERE, head to toe, for anything that looks abnormal.  My girl literally looks in between my toes and ALL through my scalp.  If she sees anything that looks even the tiniest bit abnormal or off, she will remove it and biopsy it.  The removal is SUPER easy and you don’t feel a thing, so it is definitely something I think you should do if the doctor recommends it.  I’ve only had one little mole removed from my ankle a couple years back, but luckily it was nothing and I breathed a sigh of relief.

The whole process takes a few minutes and it couldn’t be easier…but sadly, most people don’t go in for annual screenings.

I recently discovered that a bunch of my friends had never gone to a dermatologist for an annual skin screening- to check for mole abnormalities etc that could be early signs of melanoma.  Many of them didn’t even know that was something they could or should do!!!  I was shocked!!

So of course I told them to go and make it a yearly thing, but it also got me thinking that maybe I should share this with as many people as possible!  If my friends weren’t aware, there are bound to be many more who are in the same boat!  We should all be doing this.  Every.  Single.  Year.

If you haven’t gone in for a skin cancer screening, please do.  It can be life saving.  When I first went, I found a dermatologist on ZocDoc- an app I love that I use to find most of my doctors.  It helps you find doctors that take your insurance in your area, and really makes the whole process super easy because it is all from your phone.  Anyway, I found a dermatologist in NYC on ZocDoc and everything was smooth sailing.  If you don’t know where to go or where to look, this app can really help you find a doctor  (Not an ad or sponsor, I just really like it and have found it super helpful over the years).

So on a day where we all, in North America at least, are talking about the sun (Solar Eclipse Monday 2017!!) I wanted to open as many eyes as possible to something very important.  The sun is an incredible thing that we literally couldn’t live without, but it also is a very strong powerful force that shouldn’t be messed with.  Enjoy it’s perks and keep yourself safe at the same time.  Prevent and practice mindfulness- your future self will thank you.

If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to comment or shoot me an email- happy to chat!

XO Katrina

4 Responses
  • Keith
    August 22, 2017

    Great advice – I get the check done annually and already have had one suspicious mole on my leg removed as a result. It is very cheap insurance against a very nasty cancer! I live in a (East Coast) beach neighborhood, and I see so many people laying out all summer long. Many are now covered in freckles and blemishes with very leathery skin adding 10 years to their actual age. Looks aside, the damage is dangerous and irreversible.

    • fitkatadmin
      August 22, 2017

      So glad you get the check done- it is SO important. And you are right, not only will it make us look better as we age, it is an easy way to keep ourselves healthy and living a long life…hopefully cancer free. Thanks for reading!
      Xo Katrina

  • Sophie
    August 22, 2017

    Thanks for this important post Katrina! Funnily enough I just had my first screening in like 8 years a few weeks ago (my mom used to make me go every year when I still lived at home, after moving out I clearly wasn’t as responsible as I thought I was…), had to get a mole removed from my calf, luckily all ok. I actually booked the appointment because I noticed a new mole on my chest when comparing before/after pictures. It’s crazy how you don’t really notice a mole growing ever so slowly over the years, even (or maybe especially) ones in plain sight! Of course most new moles are harmless, but only a doctor can determine that and since melanoma is so easy to catch early that really is something we should be taking advantage of. Thanks again for raising awareness!

    • fitkatadmin
      August 22, 2017

      Thanks for sharing this Sophie! SO happy you took the initiative to get a screening and I hope you continue to do so!! You are SOOO right, it is so easy to not really notice a new/abnormal mole because it’s not something we think about every day. Plus, it can be a super easy thing to forget about- out of sight out of mind! But it’s important to take charge and be proactive about your health- we only get this one life! Thanks for reading!
      XO Katrina

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *