May Is Melanoma & Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Do you know the ABCDEs of Melanoma?

A – Asymmetrical Shape*

Melanoma lesions are often irregular, or not symmetrical, in shape. Benign moles are usually symmetrical.

 

B – Border

Typically, non-cancerous moles have smooth, even borders. Melanoma lesions usually have irregular borders that are difficult to define.

 

C – Color

The presence of more than one color (blue, black, brown, tan, etc.) or the uneven distribution of color can sometimes be a warning sign of melanoma. Benign moles are usually a single shade of brown or tan.

 

D – Diameter

Melanoma lesions are often greater than 6 millimeters in diameter (approximately the size of a pencil eraser).

 

E – Evolution

The evolution of your mole(s) has become the most important factor to consider when it comes to diagnosing a melanoma. Knowing what is normal for YOU could save your life. If a mole has gone through recent changes in color and/or size, bring it to the attention of a dermatologist immediately.

*Skin Cancer Foundation

 

What is the difference between Melanoma and Skin Cancer?

Many people consider skin cancer to be synonymous with melanoma but that is not the case. Melanoma is only one type of skin cancer and is considered one of the rarest forms of skin cancer, with approximately 76,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. It is also known as the most aggressive, and is most likely to spread to other parts of the body. Possible signs of melanoma include a change in the appearance of a mole or pigmented area of the skin.

Everyone should see their dermatologist at least once a year for a skin cancer screening.

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