Self-examination is an important part in the early detection of changes which in turn can imply early diagnosis of cancer. Self-examination of the breasts, the testicles and moles is performed at home within specific time frame.
Every woman is required to do breast self-examination monthly. Two factors are required in order to perform successful self-examination: right timing and proper technique. The best time to perform a self-examination is two days after the completion of the menstrual cycle, provided that the menstrual cycle is regular. In the case of taking birth control pills, self-examination is performed on the day of taking the first pill of the new pack. For women in menopause, it is recommended that the self-examination is performed every month on the same date. In case you detect a change (breast lump), do not analyze it by yourself, but immediately call a physician and let them perform the necessary analysis. Remember to do regular self-examinations after the age of 20. The purpose of self-examination is to detect changes in timely manner, and building awareness of the need to have regular examinations performed by professionals.
Just as each woman must perform breasts self-examination in a specific time frame, the male population must perform testicular self-examination. Usually after bathing, every male needs to perform self-examination of the testicles. If he detects asymmetry in testicle size or palpates certain suspicious mass in the testicle, he should immediately seek professional opinion. Likewise, these changes can be detected by the partner during sexual intercourse. Usually the testicle increases in size painlessly, and in rare cases of testicular cancer, the affected testicle may have normal size. Any change in the testicle should be examined by an urologist, who will afterwards perform the necessary additional screenings. Over 95% of testicular tumors are malignant. Young men between the ages of 15 and 40 are at the highest risk of testicular cancer.
The first sign of melanoma is the change in size, shape or color of an existing mole. Melanoma can appear as a new "mole", which is mainly black and has an unusual and unsightly appearance. In order to remember what to look for during self-examination, recall the first four letters of the alphabet "ABCD":
* Asymmetry - one half of the moll is different from the other half;
* Border - The edges are often ragged, notched or blurred or misshapen and its pigment may spread into the surrounding skin;
* Color - color is uneven and shades of black, brown and pink can be observed;
* Diameter - change of the size of an existing mole. Melanomas usually have a diameter lager than 6mm (pencil rubber size).