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The naked truth about skin cancer

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Turning the lights off before you undress may save your blushes, but it will not save your skin, according to a new study.

30 May, 2008 – 13:07

The study, carried out by June K. Robinson, M.D., a professor of clinical dermatology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found that couples who regularly examined each other’s skin while naked were far more likely to spot a potentially dangerous skin melanoma than those who preferred the lights off as they were too shy or inhibited to see each other naked.

The study participants included 130 melanoma survivors who had learned how to do skin self-exams either alone or with their partners.

The study also opens up a wider debate on whether dermatologists with high risk melanoma patients should consider the closeness and quality of their patient’s relationship with their partner or spouse in order to assess whether they need additional help with skin self-examination as there are many parts of the body that are not able to be easily examined by the patient themselves.

Moles or unusual skin lesions should be checked once a month for any significant changes in their size, shape, form and colour. A mole with changes in one or more of these needs to be checked by your doctor.

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