When it comes to surviving skin cancer melanoma, early detection is crucial. The five year survival rate for melanoma is 99% for patients in which the cancer is detected early.
Checking your skin regularly (at least once a month) is the best way to keep track of any changes that may occur and identify any early signs that could lead to melanoma developing.
Luckily, checking your skin for melanoma is truly as easy as ABCDE. Look for the signs below every time you check your skin and contact your doctor if any are present.
A is for Asymmetrical
Healthy moles and other natural marks on your skin are usually symmetrical and uniform in shape. If you have a mole that is asymmetrical and irregular in shape, it is important to monitor it closely and have it looked at by a certified dermatologist.
B is for Boards
When checking your skin, look for moles that have jagged, irregular, or broken borders. These are potential signs that the mole is cancerous and should be examined by a doctor.
C is for Color
Moles are typically one uniform color. If you have a mole that has numerous colors or seems to be changing colors, it is best to get it checked out as soon as possible.
D is for Diameter
Large moles are always good to have looked at. If you have a mole that has a diameter larger than that of a pea, have your dermatologist give it a look.
E is for Evolving
One of the most common ways to find a cancerous mole is to see it drastically change. Although healthy moles can slightly change over time, if you notice any major changes in size, shape, or color of your moles, you should see your dermatologist.
Even if you do not find any of the above warning signs on your skin, it is still recommended to visit your dermatologist at least once a year to get a full body check up.