The ABCDEs of Skin Cancer
Once a month, do an exam of your own skin, moles and blemishes. Checking once a month will make it easier to see if a spot has undergone a change. Even if you have no specific concerns, visit your primary care doctor or dermatologist annually for a skin check.
Not all skin cancers present the same symptoms.
Some Common Signs
- Asymmetry – One side of the lesion is not like the other side.
- Border – The border of the lesion is irregular or poorly defined.
- Color – There is no certain color that is worse than another. However, if one lesion has multiple colors (shades of tan, brown, black), this may be a reason for concern.
- Diameter – If the diameter of a lesion is more than 6 mm (or larger than a pencil eraser), this may be a worrisome lesion.
- Evolving – If you have one mole that looks different from the rest, or appears to have changed, have a doctor look at it.
Another common symptom is a spot that is non-healing, bleeding, itching or crusting.
Skin cancer has a very high survival rate, especially when detected early. If you have a lesion you're concerned about, call your doctor and have it examined.