It is a good idea to educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of skin cancer. Look for new lesions that are growing or nonhealing. Teach yourself the ABCDE’s of recognizing a possible melanoma.
The ABCDEs of melanoma skin cancer are:
- Asymmetry. One half doesn’t match the appearance of the other half.
- Border irregularity. The edges are ragged, notched, or blurred.
- Color. The color (pigmentation) is not uniform. Shades of tan, brown, and black are present. Dashes of red, white, and blue add to a mottled appearance.
- Diameter. The size of the mole is greater than 1/4 inch (6 mm), about the size of a pencil eraser. Any growth of a mole should be evaluated.
- Evolution. There is a change in the size, shape, symptoms (such as itching or tenderness), surface (especially bleeding), or color of a mole.
If you suspect you may have a skin cancer, see a dermatologist as soon as possible. It is always recommended to visit a dermatologist annually for routine full body skin exams and to perform monthly self exams.