Although doctors are usually very thorough and keep scrupulous records, no one has the daily access to your health status that you yourself do. When it comes to monitoring for early warning signs, you are, by far, the best person for the job.

In this article, we'll talk about self-exams you can perform to look for skin cancer, testicular cancer, and breast cancer. Here's a preview.

  • Skin Cancer Self-ExamsSkin cancer, while largely preventable, is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Early detection and treatment are important to improve your prognosis. If you are in a high-risk group, you should perform regular self-examinations for signs of skin cancer. Be on the lookout for the A, B, C, D, and E signs of skin cancer: asymmetry, border irregularity, color variation, diameter larger than 6mm, and evolving lesions.
  • Testicular Cancer Self-ExamsThe good news is that testicular cancer is relatively rare. However, it's still important to perform regular self-exams to watch for signs of testicular cancer. Testicular cancer self-exams are performed in the shower and in front of the mirror; watch for hard lumps or bumps, pain, discoloration, changes in skin texture, and open sores.
  • Breast Cancer Self-ExamsBreast cancer self-exams take place in three steps: in the shower, in front of a mirror, and lying down. You'll want to watch for lumps, knots, changes in skin texture, dimpling or puckering, and non-milky discharge. It's important to perform self-exams regularly so that you become familiar with the landscape of your breasts and thus more easily notice potentially dangerous changes.
  • Your family history and your lifestyle are just a few of the variables that affect your overall health. Learn more in How to Assess Your Health.
  • The word "cancer" strikes fear in anyone's heart -- the collection of diseases we know as cancer is the second-largest cause of death in the United States. Learn more in How Cancer Works.
  • A new vaccine is now available to protect against cervical cancer, the second-most common type of cancer in American women. Read How the Cervical Cancer Vaccine Works to learn more.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.