Look, we get it: Giving your partner a once-over to check for cancer might not sound like your idea of a romantic evening. We beg to differ. Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to rub up on each other’s bodies to detect irregularities that could be the first signs of cancer.
What better way to show your love than a make-out session that has the potential to save your partner’s life? The Prevent Cancer Foundation takes this idea a step further, encouraging couples to “Feel the Love and Check Your Mate” any time of the year, not just during February. If during your romantic self exam you discover irregularities, see your health-care professional right away.
Follow these early detection tips to check your mate for breast, skin or testicular cancers:
- Breast cancer. Feel for abnormal lumps, hard knots or thickening in the breast. Observe if there’s a change in the shape or size of a breast. Look for discharge, including bleeding, and ask about nipple pain or tenderness. Other suspicious symptoms include scaliness or a rash on the nipples; dimpling, puckering or redness to a breast; or a lump under an arm.
- Skin cancer. While in bed, in the shower or stretched out naked in front of the fireplace, take a few minutes to look for abnormal changes in your partner’s skin. Follow the ABCDE rule to note suspicious moles: A) asymmetry, where one side of a mole doesn’t match the other side; B) border irregularity; C) color that isn’t uniform; D) diameter greater than the size of a pencil eraser; and E) evolving shape, size or color. Also make note of any of these symptoms: a new mole or growth, a sore that won’t heal, areas of skin that ooze or crust, or a flat red spot that is scaly or crusty.
- Testicular cancer. Check your mate’s testicles for any abnormal lumps, swelling, tenderness or changes to the testes. Inquire about a dull ache in your man’s lower back, abdomen or groin. Also report any pain or discomfort, fluid or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.
Make it a habit to explore your partner’s body on the regular. Even if you don’t discover any abnormalities, just think of how much fun your sexy body check can be!