How’s your body? Even if you’re generally in good health, you’re likely to notice the occasional ache or pain. But do you get up-close and personal with yourself to look for issues that might indicate health trouble? Schedule a self-exam week to check in on your parts with these five easy health tests.
How’s your skin?
Given that your body is covered in it, and skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, your skin deserves a good look. If you catch skin cancers early, they can be cured relatively easily. Shed your clothes and find some mirrors, and use the ABCDE guidelines to identify melanoma warning signs:
- Asymmetrical: If you draw an imaginary line down the center of the mole, do the two sides match?
- Border: A mole with smooth, even borders probably isn’t dangerous.
- Color: Moles that aren’t uniform in color need attention.
- Diameter: A mole that’s bigger across than a pencil eraser is cause for concern.
- Evolving: Changes in size, shape, color, or height could indicate trouble.
How’s your BMI?
You can keep your clothes on for this one (although, hey, you don’t have to). Finding your body mass index (BMI) is quick and easy with an online calculator. Too high, and you’re at greater risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Too low, and your immune system and bones struggle.
If the number you find concerns you, but you struggle with weight control, check in with your healthcare provider.
How’re your nails?
Fingernails: great for peeling oranges and for finding health problems. Toenails, too, except for the oranges. Find out how to read what’s written on your nails—about health issues like melanoma, liver disease, anemia, and more.
How’s your mouth?
Gum disease isn’t just about what’s happening in your mouth. It’s linked to serious diseases like stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. Make sure you check in with your dentist regularly, and keep an eye out for signs of gingivitis and periodontitis:
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Formations of pockets between teeth and gums
How’s your business?
Both of these tests for cancerous lumps should be conducted every month. You need a good sense of what’s normal for your body so that you can more easily notice changes that may mean trouble.
Did you get through all the exams? Let us know on social media with the hashtag #HancockHealthChallenge.