Learn Your ABCDE’s
While skin cancer is not the deadliest form of cancer, it is by far the
most common type of cancer in the U.S. More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. The risk of getting skin cancer is associated with frequent exposure to UV radiation from the sun.
There are 3 types of skin cancer. Melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer, but has a high mortality rate if found late. If detected early, the. 5 year survival rate after being diagnosed with melanoma is 99%. There are certain characteristics of melanoma that are important to watch out for, and are easy to remember by using the mnemonic ABCDE.
A – Asymmetrical shape (irregular shape, sometimes 2 very different
B – irregular Border (notched or ragged edges)
C – changes in Color (growths with many colors or uneven distribution of
D – Diameter (new growth larger than 1/4 inch)
E – Evolving (moles that grow in size, color, or shape over time)
Using this information to keep an eye on your own or a loved one’s moles will improve the chances of catching melanoma early. So if you do happen to find a mole that looks suspicious, make sure to get yourself or your loved one to get it checked out by your doctor!
Joshua White, PA-C