Do you know the warning signs of melanoma?

Even if you have always followed the rules when it comes to sun safety during the warm summer months spent outside, it’s important to be attentive to your skin in all other parts of the year as well.  Examining your skin and watching for potential spots on your skin that could be dangerous is a wise thing to.  Many times melanoma can be successfully treated and cured if caught early enough.

How do I check for melanoma?

When you’re examining your skin, it’s important to know exactly what to look for.  In general, check if there are any new spots, growths, or moles.  In addition, if there are any existing moles or growths that begin changing in any significant way, such as getting darker, getting bigger, or any that start itching, bleeding, or do not heal are signals to get yourself into a doctor to get looked at. Basically, if a mole looks or feels different than the rest of the moles on your body, it should be looked at.

Doctors have identified an easy way to recognize if melanoma.  It’s called an ABCDE test.  We’ve listed it here below. 

Asymmetry:  If you draw a line through this mole, the two sides won’t match.

Border:  The borders of a growth with early melanoma are generally uneven.

Color:  Having a mole with a number of shades of brown, tan, or black is a warning sign.  Other moles that are red or bluish in color are also an indicator.

Diameter:  Melanomas are generally larger than ¼ inch in diameter.

Evolving:  Any spot that starts changing, either in size, shape, color, or feeling can point to risk.[1]

Remember this test and complete it. If you answer yes to any of these questions regarding a specific spot on your skin, make an appointment with a dermatologist immediately.



[1] “Do you know your ABCDEs?”  SkinCancer.Org  Accessed June 25, 2012.