With skin cancer on the rise and more and more public awareness campaigns attempting to spread the word and increase the success rate of treatment with early diagnosis, it’s understandable that you may be cautious anytime you see a mole, whether it is new or old. The idea of awareness is never to spread panic or stress you out, it’s meant to help you identify when there is cause for concern and help you figure out what to do when that happens. In the case of monitoring yourself for skin cancer, there are a few things to keep an eye out for that can be easily remembered with the acronym ABCDE.
The ABCDE Technique for Self-Monitoring
Here’s a breakdown of what each letter stands for in the acronym that can help you identify potential problem spots.
A Stands for Asymmetrical
When a mole is symmetrical, both sides are even, equal or a mirror to each other in a way. However, if you have a mole that would look different on each side if you were to draw a line right down the middle of it, you should have it looked at by Dr. Levine. It doesn’t mean it’s cancerous, but it does mean you should have it evaluated to be safe.
B Stands for Irregular Border
Normal moles have even borders that are smooth in appearance. If the edges of a mole become uneven or are notched or scalloped, it’s a good idea to let Dr. Levine take a look to rule out any cause for concern.
C Stands for Irregular Color
If your mole or moles are more than one color or have varying shades of tan, brown, black, red, white or even blue, it’s time to get them looked at. Healthy moles are usually one color throughout and are most often brown.
D Stands for Diameter
The standard size of a mole should be smaller than the diameter of a pencil eraser. If it becomes bigger than that, it needs to be looked at, especially if it started off smaller and has continued to grow in size.
E Stands for Evolution
If you notice a mole evolving in any way such as size, shape, color or you notice scabbing or bleeding, it’s a good idea to come in for an appointment and let Dr. Levine look at it.