It’s important to be able to recognize the early warning signs of skin cancer.
Most of us have moles all over our bodies and faces. While these common skin growths aren’t often a cause for concern, changes in the appearance of your moles could be a major warning sign of skin cancer. Accordingly, it is very important to know when it's the proper time to turn to our Buffalo, NY, board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Anthony Dee, to have the mole checked.
When it comes to understanding the early warning signs of skin cancer, one simple strategy includes memorizing your ABCDEs:
- “A” is for Asymmetry: Half of the mole should match the other half in color, size, and shape. If a mole is asymmetrical, this could be a sign of melanoma.
- “B” is for Border: Healthy moles have a clear, visible and perfectly defined border, while cancerous moles are more likely to have blurry, poorly defined and jagged borders.
- “C” is for Color: Moles can range in color (most are medium to dark brown) but they should only be one color; moles with multiple colors, including shades of pink, red, blue, and black could be an early warning sign of skin cancer.
- “D” is for Diameter: Most moles should be no larger than the size of a pencil eraser. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that large moles are cancerous, most melanomas are larger than a pencil eraser.
- “E” is for Evolving: Healthy moles stay relatively the same over the years; therefore, any significant changes in the appearance of a mole warrant a checkup.
You should be performing self-skin exams every month, making sure to check your skin from head to toe. Along with these monthly exams, you should visit our Buffalo, NY, dermatologist once a year for a professional full-body skin cancer screening. During this examination, we will be able to look over each mole and pinpoint suspicious growths or changes that you may overlook during a self-exam.
After all, our team knows exactly what to look for when it comes to changing or troublesome moles. Those who are at an increased risk for skin cancer may want to come in more than once a year for screenings.
Concerned? Give Us a Call
When was the last time you had a full skin cancer evaluation? If you’ve never had one before or if it’s been more than a year, call Dermatologic Center for Excellence in Buffalo, NY, today at (716) 636-DERM (3376) to book an appointment with your dermatologist, Dr. Anthony Dee.