Health & beauty

9 Sneaky Places Skin Cancer Hides

If your derm isn't checking these spots, you need a new doctor

I should have known my trip to the dermatologist wasn't going to end well when I walked in and saw the derm's diploma was hanging lopsided on the wall. It should have been my cue that this man was not precise -- something you desperately need when it comes to checking for signs of skin cancer. After a handful of malignant moles and one basal cell carcinoma later, I am vigilant about coming in for bi-annual skin cancer checks. So when I found an unusual mole on my derriere (self checks are important too!), I knew I had to skip the embarrassment and get it checked out.

The doctor gave me the standard once-over of my arms and legs, then announced everything looked okay. Um, and what about the rest of my body? When I asked about the mole on my rear, the doctor was visibly uncomfortable. "How do you want to do this?" he asked. I should've walked out right then, but after a very uncomfortable exam -- after which he just passed me off to my gynecologist -- I ditched the doctor and found someone a little more professional to remove the mole.

I'm happy to report the mole was benign, but it got me thinking. What other awkward, weird or overlooked places can skin cancer hide out?

So I spoke with Dr. Ariel Ostad, a top New York City dermatologist in micrographic surgery for skin cancer removal. His most important advice? "If your dermatologist doesn't check these areas, speak up or consider seeing someone else."

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