- A – Asymmetry: One half of the mole is different, and does not match the other half.
- B – Border: The border or edges of the mole are irregular, uneven, or blurred.
- C – Color: The color of the mole is not the same all over. There are shades of black, brown, tan, or pink.
- D – Diameter: The diameter, or width across the mole, is greater than 1/4 inch (about the size of a pencil eraser) although some melanomas can be smaller than this.
- E – Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.
Other warning signs can include:
- Redness or swelling beyond the mole
- Pain or tenderness
- Scaly appearance
Melanoma Facts from Skincancer.org:
- An estimated 9,710 people will die from melanoma in 2014.
- Survival with melanoma increased from 49% (1950 – 1954) to 92% (1996 – 2003).
- About 86% of melanomas can be attributed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
- Survivors of melanoma are about 9 times as likely as the general population to develop a new melanoma.
- Caucasian men over the age of 65 have had a 5.1% annual increase in melanoma incidence since 1975, which is the highest annual increase of any gender or age group.
Skin cancer prevention:
- Stay in the shade, especially during mid-day hours.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim that will shade your head, face, ears, and neck.
- Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
- Use a sunscreen with at least a factor of SPF15 that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Be sure to reapply after sweating/swimming.
- Avoid indoor tanning.
Photo by akeg