How to spot skin cancer

Melanoma kills one person every hour in the United States. It is the fifth most common cancer among men and the seventh among women, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. But if detected early, it is 98 percent curable.

Did you hear the story about the good Samaritan that spotted a potential skin cancer risk for a fire fighter playing in the pool?  If not, read it here.   This good Samaritan was a dermatologist but how can the rest of us be better at spotting these risks?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, knowing signs of Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, it’s as easy as your ABC’s.

ABCs: When is a mole melanoma?

A is for Asymmetry: One half doesn’t match the other.

B is for Border irregularity: The edges are ragged, notched or blurred.

C is for Color that varies from one area to another.

D is for Diameter: Melanomas are usually greater than 6 millimeters (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, but they can be smaller.

E is for Evolving: Look for a mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.

Please consult your doctor and/or dermatologist immediately if you spot any signs that could be cancer, or areas that concern you for any reason.  You can use the American Academy of Dermatology’s website as well to find a SpotMe Screening near you.


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