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This Valentine’s Day, show your love by performing a skin exam with your partner.

Studies have shown that patients themselves detect about half of all melanomas, and that proper performance of self skin-examinations may reduce the chances of dying of this potentially deadly disease by as much as 63 percent. This is an excellent reason to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a skin self-exam, since having a partner can make it easier to remember to examine the skin regularly and to check areas such as the scalp and back, which are difficult to see alone.

While self-exams shouldn’t replace the important annual skin exam performed by a physician, they offer the best chance of detecting the early warning signs of melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, the three most common skin cancers. Skin cancer can occur anywhere you have skin. If you notice any change in an existing mole or discover a new one that looks suspicious, see a physician immediately. Click here for a step by step Skin Cancer Self-Examination.

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