Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. It spreads rapidly and can develop anywhere on the skin, even on places that are never exposed to the sun. There is no replacement for visiting a dermatologist every year for a full-body check-up, but when checking yourself, there is an easy way to remember what to look for.
When observing moles, remember theABCDEs of melanoma.
A is for Asymmetry. If you drew an imaginary line down the middle of your mole, one half is unlike the other.
B is for Border. Irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined borders can be cause for concern.
C is for Color. There is a variation of color from one area to another, including shades of tan and brown. Sometimes, it can even be white, red or blue.
D is for Diameter. While melanomas are usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser), when diagnosed early, they can be smaller.
E is for Evolving. A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color. If you ever find anything unusual, trust your instincts and make an appointment with your dermatologist as soon as possible. Remember, if caught early, melanoma is treatable with the highest survival rate of cancers.
In my next blog, I will share the top 5 areas of the body that patients most often neglect when applying sunscreen, but shouldn’t!