The ABCDE's of Melanoma | Melanoma Awareness Month

When it comes to melanoma, the world's most serious type of skin cancer, early detection is imperative. 

Melanoma can be cured if found and treated early. 

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Here are the types of skin markings on the body to look for in an easy way to remember we call, the ABCDE's of Melanoma: 

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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. 

If you see one or more of these markings on your skin, make an appointment with a dermatologist immediately. Catching melanoma early can make the difference between life and death. See your dermatologist regularly for skin screenings. 

You can also use the Ugly Duckling test to spot any suspicious markings on the body. If you're seeing a mole or marking that doesn't look like the rest, then that's a red flag. Get your skin checked immediately by a dermatologist

Please note: Not all melanomas fall within the ABCDE parameters so visit your dermatologist regularly to catch any potential issues early.

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