The A, B, C, D & E’s of Skin Cancer: (Watch video below)
Learning how to check yourself for signs of skin cancer is the easiest and most important step in reducing your skin cancer risks.
Stand in front of a mirror and check your entire body for moles, freckles, birthmarks or other unusual spots. Use a hand mirror to check any hard-to-see places. Examine each one, and if you notice any showing any signs of the symptoms described below, contact your dermatologist and schedule a skin exam immediately.
Asymmetrical: Most early melanomas are asymmetrical, meaning a line through the middle would not create matching halves. Common moles are round and symmetrical.
Borders: The borders of early melanomas are often uneven and may have scalloped, notched and fuzzy edges. Common moles have smoother, more even borders.
Colors: Common moles usually are a single shade of brown. Varied shades of brown, tan or black can be the first sign of melanoma, and may progress to the colors red, white and blue.
Diameter: Early melanomas usually grow larger than common moles — generally to at least the size of a pencil eraser (about 6mm or ¼” in diameter).
Evolving: When a mole is evolving (changing), see a doctor. Be alert for any change — in size, shape, color, elevation, bleeding, itching, crusting or any other trait — in an existing mole.
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