Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Thursday Thirteen #169


I'm writing this one partly as a reminder to myself to make an appointment and get in to see my dermatologist. I simply forgot last year's annual "mole check" and that was stupid. Skin cancer can spread to other organs and it's nothing to ignore.

Thanks to Allure for much of the information you see here.

1) May is Skin Cancer Detection/Prevention Month, so it's the perfect time to make an appointment to have your doctor check you over.

2) The exam should only take about 15 minutes.

3) Expect the doctor to ask you if there's a history of skin cancer in your family.

4) Try to remember: Did you burn a lot as a kid? Did you peel?

5) Do you wear sunscreen often? Do you now or have you ever fake-baked? (Tell the truth.)

6) You should take stock of your own moles before you go in, so you can answer when the doctor asks if any of have changed shape or color.

7) Yes, you'll have to get naked. Skin cancer can turn up anywhere from the top of your scalp to between your toes, and really doesn't care if it's location is embarrassing.

8) Remember to remove your nail polish, for skin cancer can begin to grow beneath a finger or toenail.

9) Expect to be examined with a magnifying glass.

10) But relax, because this is one exam that never hurts. If your doctor thinks something should come off, that will likely be done at a follow up appointment.

11) Most insurance companies will spring for the annual screening. That's because it's in their best interest. While skin cancer is on the rise, when it's caught early, it's one of the easiest cancers to cure.

12) While your GP can do this exam, it's recommended you have a dermatologist perform it.

13) If you don't have a dermatologist, visit the American Academy of Dermatology's website to find out where you can get a free skin-cancer screening in your city.

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? Capone: The Man and His Era by Laurence Bergreen. For lifelong Chicagoans like me, Al's life has cast a long shadow over our reputation and sensibilities. More so than any Belushi, Capone's up there with Oprah and MJ as representatives of Chicago. And yet, I know little about him that's true beyond the unfortunate incident in a garage on Valentine's Day and his time in Alcatraz. This book is very readable, entertaining and puts Capone's life in context. It's a dark immigrant saga, the ugly side of The American Dream. It's also more than 700 pages long! Purchased for $1 last summer at our annual library book fair, it looked a bargain and I'm certainly satisfied with the value. But this may be the book that sells me on an e-reader. It weighs a ton!
• What did you recently finish reading? Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill. It was respectful and very, very poignant. As a career Secret Service agent, Clint Hill wanted to guard the First Family -- in fact, he felt passed over when he found that he was assigned to Jackie and not JFK. And then, it ended in tragedy and he still, at the age of 80, is tormented by the assassination and how, in his words, he "let this happen." It also has interesting, light-hearted moments. Jackie was a jock, a good skier, tennis player and golfer as well as equestrian, and her Secret Service agents had to work hard to keep up with her.

• What do you think you’ll read next? I don't know for sure, but maybe Found by Tatum O'Neal. Or maybe, after two tomes of non-fiction, I may want to return to a mystery. I have a lot of time to decide, as the Capone book is very long.