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ABCDs of Melanoma

The first line of defense against melanoma starts with you. Help ensure that melanoma is diagnosed in its earliest, most treatable stage by examining your skin regularly

Melanoma is the most deadly of all the skin cancers. It is important to know how to recognize the early warning signs of malignant melanoma. Look for the ABCD's of melanoma, and if you see one or more, make an appointment with a dermatologist immediately.

Melanoma AA - Asymmetrical Shape
Melanoma lesions are typically irregular, or not symmetrical, in shape. Benign moles are usually symmetrical.

Melanoma BB - Border
Typically, non-cancerous moles have smooth, even borders. Melanoma lesions usually have iregular borders that are difficult to define.

Melanoma CC - Color
The presence of more than one color (blue, black, brown, tan, etc.) or the uneven distribution of color can sometimes be a warning sign of melanoma. Benign moles are usually a single shade of brown or tan.

Melanoma DD - Diameter
Melanoma lesions are often greater than 6 millimeters in diameter (approximately the size of a pencil eraser).

Other Warning Signs:

  • The appearance of a new bump or nodule
  • Color spreads into surrounding skin
  • redness or swelling beyond the mole
  • pain
  • tenderness
  • itching
  • bleeding
  • oozing
  • scaly appearance


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