The ABC’s of melanoma
Skin cancer is one of the most commonly occuring cancers amd melanoma is the most serious form of this disease. Since it is most likely curable when detected early, regular self-examination is very important.
This guide is designed to give you a better understanding of what to look for when checking for melanoma. It’s a good idea for you to perform self-examination about once a month. Below you’ll see how the American Cancer Society decribes a number of signs and symptoms that can help you identify moles that should be seen by your physician. It is important to monitor the size, shape, border and colour of the moles on your body. The dots that indicate mole sizes, ranging from 3 mm to 9 mm in size, can help you focus on any individual mole, so you can track its growth over a period of several examinations. In addition, it is important to tell your doctor about any changes in skin lesions, or growths that look different from the rest of your moles. Keep in mind that most people have moles and almost all moles are harmless. However, if you find one that exhibits any of the characteristics you’ve read about, have your skin checked by a doctor.
1. American Cancer Society. Melanoma Skin Cancer. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003120-pdf.pdf. Accessed 07.11.12
2. American Cancer Society. Skin Cancer Proetection and Early Detection. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents.webcontent/003184-pfd.pdf. Accesed 07.11.12
3. American Academy of Dermatology. How to examine your skin.
http://www.aad.org/spot-skin-cancer/understanding-skin-cancer/how-do-i-check-my-skin/how-to-perform-a-self-exam. Accessed 07.11.12