National Cancer Control Month: Recommended Self-Examinations

April is honored as National Cancer Control Month. This time spotlights healthy lifestyles, cancer screenings, access to quality cancer care, and improving quality of life for cancer survivors.

Detecting cancer at an early stage, before symptoms appear and when it is typically most treatable, is crucial. Below are a few recommended self-examinations.

Testicular self-exam

By performing testicular self-exams, a patient may find a lump on the testicle, which may warrant further examination.

In addition to a self-exam, the American Cancer Society recommends a testicular exam by a doctor as part of a routine cancer-related checkup. The ACS also advises men to be aware of testicular cancer and to see a doctor right away if they find a lump on a testicle.

Breast self-exam

The ACS recommends women do routine breast self-exams beginning in their 20s.

Finding a breast change does not necessarily mean there is a cancer.

A woman can notice changes by knowing how her breasts normally look and feel and feeling her breasts for changes (breast awareness), or by choosing to use a step-by-step approach (with a BSE) and using a specific schedule to examine her breasts.

Skin self-exam

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone practice monthly head-to-toe self-examination of their skin, so that they can find any new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous. Skin cancers found and removed early are usually curable. Learn about the warnings signs of skin cancer and what to look for during a self-examination. If you spot anything suspicious, see a doctor.

To learn more about self-examinations and cancer treatment options like CyberKnife, contact St. Louis CyberKnife.