The American Academy of Dermatology designates the first Monday in May as Melanoma Monday® to raise awareness of melanoma and other types of skin cancer, and to encourage early detection through self-exams. Skin cancer is the only cancer that can be seen on the surface of the skin. By examining your skin for any changes, you can detect early warning signs.
The first line of defense against skin cancer starts with you. Ask a dermatologist how often you should examine your skin for signs of skin cancer and consult a dermatologist if you notice anything suspicious. Always have a spot checked if it’s changing, painful, bleeds easily, or is not healing. These simple steps can help ensure that skin cancer is diagnosed in its earliest, most treatable stage.
A = Asymmetry
One half is unlike the other half.
B = Border
An irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.
C = Color
Is varied from one area to another; has shades of tan, brown or black, or is sometimes white, red, or blue.
D = Diameter
Melanomas usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, but they can be smaller.
E = Evolving
A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.
Check out the American Academy of Dermatology website where you can download a body map that will teach you about how to examine your skin and what signs to look for.