Melanoma: The ABCDE guide to potentially cancerous moles

May 1, 2015 | by City of Hope

To detect melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, at its earliest, most treatable stage, conduct a head-to-toe skin self-examination once a month to check for suspicious moles.

 

ABCDE Guide for Skin Cancer Self-exam for cancerous moles

Unusual, or atypical, moles can ultimately develop into skin cancer. Here is the ABCDE guide to potentially cancerous moles:

A = Asymmetry The two halves of the mole do not match when you draw a line through the middle.

B = Border The mole has an uneven border.

C = Color The mole has multiple shades of tan, brown or black or has unusual colors such as red, purple or blue.

D = Diameter The mole is larger than 6mm in diameter (or the size of a pencil eraser).

E = Evolution The mole has changed in size, shape or color over time.

If you have a suspicious mole, contact your primary care doctor or a dermatologist for further evaluation. For more information about melanoma and other types of skin cancer, visit www.cityofhope.org/skin-cancer.

Sources: American Cancer Society and Skin Cancer Foundation

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