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Know Your ABCDE's for Melanoma and Skin Cancer

By Cristal Tope, FNP-BC

May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month!

Over 5 million cases of skin cancer arediagnosed in the United States annually, making it the country’s most common form of cancer. Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable diseases, and early diagnosis and treatment helps to save lives. Getting regular annual skin exams and knowing your ABCDE’s helps detect melanoma and skin cancer early.

Be sure to know and look for the following:

A – Asymmetry

Normal moles are symmetrical, so if you cut the mole in half, one side mirrors the other half. Suspicious moles often have unusual shapes that are asymmetric.

B- Border

Normal moles have rounded smooth, and well-defined borders. Borders that are irregular or blurred are not normal and should be looked at.

C- Color

Normal moles usually have one uniform color throughout, and stay that same color. Moles that turn very dark or have various colors of brown, black, blue, red, or white should be checked.

D- Diameter

Moles suddenly growing larger than a 6 millimeter diameter (the size of a pencil eraser head) is usually a sign to get them checked.

E- Evolving

A mole changing in shape, color, and size should be checked. Also, a mole that suddenly develops symptoms such as itching, burning, pain, tenderness, or bleeding without trauma is also a warning sign.

Call us at 203-323-5660 to schedule your annual skin exam or mole check and help aid in early detection and prevent melanoma and skin cancer.


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