Self-Exams for Cancer and Other Diseases

How Getting Naked Can Save Your Life
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Some of the saddest health tragedies we hear about involve women who developed advanced breast cancer because they were too modest to perform self-exams or discuss "the girls" with the doctor. Many people are equally squeamish about analyzing the contents of the toilet or describing digestive issues. But there's no question that getting up close and personal with our bodies is the best way to spot a telltale change before it becomes a dangerous health threat. From our hair to our skin to the soles of our feet, what we see is in many cases what we get. Bottom line on the best way to stay healthy? Banish your embarrassment, let it all hang out, and take a closer look.


about 1 year ago, said...

I'm 71 and a conscientious "body watcher". This article at least doubled my knowledge of what to look for. Thank you.


about 1 year ago, said...

As someone who caught melanoma early, don't worry about pictures of lesions. Any mole that changes should be looked at. Mine didn't follow a typical pattern. Mine looked like a red bump that showed up inside of my mole that I had since I was a teenager. That was 2012 and now I see a dermatologist every 3 months (and will for the rest of my life). Luckily mine was on my arm and I caught it very early, so the only treatment I needed was surgery to remove it. Trust your gut instinct. If it looks off or changes, get it looked at. This is a great article.


over 1 year ago, said...

Some photos of cancerous lesions would have been helpful. We need to know what we should be looking for and be able to know whether a spot/growth is benign or cancer.


over 1 year ago, said...

Is it possible to have this article emailed to me ? Thanks darlene


over 1 year ago, said...

This is a great article! Talking about breast self exam, It can be a love thing. A man can also check her spouse breast in a loving and sexy way making it enjoyable for both of them. This link provide some information about breast cancer: http://www.cancereffects.com/Breast-Cancer.html


over 1 year ago, said...

Your description of C. Diff is wrong. It is not green, it is orange with a very distinctive, foul odor.


over 1 year ago, said...

further information or links to find further information on each topic. IE: "orange peel" skin........?


over 1 year ago, said...

Green stool is not indicative of C. difficile colitis however multiple loose watery stools per day with abdominal cramping, fever, along with a history of recent antibiotics would be concerning.


over 1 year ago, said...

No comments and instructions on Breast Cancer and self breast exams Very important and other wise good article


over 1 year ago, said...

Good article, Melanie!


over 1 year ago, said...

Nothing really you mention about C-diff that was something I did not know .


over 1 year ago, said...

Blood clots are also often a sign of cancer.


over 1 year ago, said...

google melanoma, and then google merkle cell to find out the most deadly skin cancer.


over 1 year ago, said...

Thank you that was a very helpful article. I am sure you will save many lives if people act on what you have suggested they do.Thank you!


over 1 year ago, said...

While I enjoyed learning some facts I didn't know before, you and the medical profession ought to try to find other means of seeing blood, or "green" or other colors, especially for those of us who have some type of color blindness - or some type of color discrimination disorder, such as red-green and other issues.


almost 2 years ago, said...

Will there be a continuation of this article? Information is dropped after the suggestion for women to use a mirror "down there". HPV found inside the vagina is not visible with a mirror, while anal warts might be. Please give details like you did with the male examination. Many women find it difficult to use mirrors, mechanically and emotionally.


almost 2 years ago, said...

I had a mastectomy with a DIEP flap reconstruction that took fat and blood vessels from my abdomen. Later, I said to the plastic surgeon, "You turned my abdomen around to fit it, didn't you?" He DID, and that's how well I knew my body!!!


almost 2 years ago, said...

a parent? yeah, that seems a little weird unless you're a kid, but kids dont usually have to check for skin cancer AFAIK


almost 2 years ago, said...

I must take exception with the statement "While many people fear anal cancer when they get hemorrhoids, the two conditions aren't related (though there have been rare cases where an anal tumor was misdiagnosed as a hemorrhoid)." I disagree with the part of the statement in parenthesis. Many people diagnosed with anal cancer were first misdiagnosed with bleeding hemorrhoids, sometimes after multiple visits to the doctor, getting the same "bleeding hemorrhoid" diagnosis each time, without more extensive exams. As a survivor of anal cancer and one who was initially misdiagnosed, I tell people that if they experience any rectal bleeding, it needs to be checked out thoroughly, which would include a digital rectal exam, anoscopy, and colonoscopy. A definitive diagnosis needs to be made as to the source of the bleeding and, IMO, can only be done after the above exams/procedures are done. No one should ever assume after getting only a digital rectal exam that it's just hemorrhoids. Also, I believe the stated number of cases of anal cancer in this overview is not current. The projected number of cases for 2014 is 7,210 according to the National Cancer Institute. The incidence of this disease is increasing, as are the numbers for other HPV-related cancers, as well. While anal cancer is still considered a rare disease, it is definitely on the rise. Awareness is key, however, sadly, some doctors are still not considering the possibility of this disease in patients presenting with rectal bleeding. Other symptoms include abdominal bloating and cramping, changes in bowel habits, chronic constipation, unexplained weight loss, a feeling of not being completely emptied out after a bowel movement, anal itching, and fatigue. I am posting this because if it may help one more person get a correct and early diagnosis.


almost 2 years ago, said...

Very interesting. I have just had a whole body skin check with my GP, and she has sent two small skin samples away for testing. I'm still waiting for the results and hoping for the best


almost 2 years ago, said...

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almost 2 years ago, said...

wish there were a way for me to share this and pin it.


almost 2 years ago, said...

Thank you for the very frank, matter-of-fact recommendations!