ABCDE’s of Skin Cancer

skin cancer

Have you ever noticed a new, strange looking mole that has appeared on your body? How about a mole that has changed in shape or colour? What may have popped up in your mind is “oh my god, what if it is skin cancer”?! There are five simple rules for detecting cancerous moles.

A

Asymmetry – If you take a look at your mole and the shape is not even or symmetrical this could be a sign of a cancerous mole.

B

Border - If you notice an irregular border on your mole this could also be a bad sign. This includes borders that are broken and straying from a circular shape.

C

Colour - If you see that there are two or more different colourings to one mole this could be a sign of skin cancer. One example would be a mole that is light brown with a smaller black colour inside of it.

D

Diameter - If you have a mole that is 6mm or larger in diameter then you might have a problem.

E

Elevation - If there is any elevation to your mole this could be a sign of skin cancer, although there are many normal moles that have elevation also called an elevated nevus.

If you have one or more of the signs above in your mole, refer to your physician. It is also good to get a professional opinion even if your mole does not have any of the signs above.

Jarvis, C. (2009). Physical examination and health assessment. (1st Canadian Ed.). Toronto: Saunders Elsevier. Chapter 3: Assessment of the skin, hair, and nails (Page 280).

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