It turns out there’s another bonus to marriage: early skin cancer detection and management. According to a recent study published in JAMA Dermatology, melanomas are more likely to be detected early in married people than people who are single, divorced or widowed.
How can being married help reduce my risks?
Data suggests that spouses or partners may help identify melanoma that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
The analysis, which included 52,063 people of various marital statuses, found that skin lesions were detected sooner among married people than they were among those who were never married, divorced, or widowed. The study also showed that married people were most likely to have skin lesions looked at by a primary care physician or a skin cancer specialist, such as a dermatologist.
In other words, spouses can help in several ways by applying sunscreen in those hard to reach places, noticing new and suspicious moles on their partners, and urging their partner to get those moles checked out.
If you aren’t married, however, consider teaming up with a partner or having a physician regularly do a spot check on your skin.
Skin self-examinations are also very important. When detected early, skin cancer is almost always curable. This is why getting to know your skin though regular self-exams is so important; so that any new or changing marks or lesions can be caught quickly. It is also a good idea to be aware of the other factors that could put you at risk for melanoma so you can take the necessary steps toward prevention.
If an area on your skin looks suspicious or concerns you, speak with your doctor immediately. The sooner you have it checked out, the easier it can be to cure. Our team of Phoenix cancer experts are available if you need to see a skin cancer specialist after diagnosis.