Melanoma is the less common but more dangerous form of skin cancer. Very often the disease originates in moles on the skin, and that’s why doctors recommend regular mole evaluation to identify any changes in their appearance. Knowing what are the ABCs of skin cancer and mole detection, can help in this regard.
Moles are patches that form on the skin due to the collection of melanocytes, which are the cells that produce melanin (pigment that gives skin its color). Moles are generally brown and dark brown in color. They tend to have a relatively even color and consistent shape (learn more).
Since melanoma often forms in or around moles, checking your skin regularly can detect any early signs of the disease.
Here are the important ABC’s of skin cancer and mole detection:
- Asymmetry: A normal mole is symmetrical, that means if you were to draw a line through it both sides would look the same. If both sides of a mole don’t look the same, you should have it checked.
- Border: Moles usually have even edges, therefore moles with uneven, jagged edges should be considered abnormal.
- Color: Moles are usually even-toned; so moles that have several hues should be properly evaluated.
- Diameter: Moles are typically about a ¼ inch in diameter. Moles that are wider should be checked out.
- Evolving: This refers to moles that undergo changes over time. If a mole gets larger or there are gradual changes to the color and shape, this may indicate that there is a problem with it.
If you have any suspicious moles that you need checked, contact the Skin Care Center, Chicago, IL. Call 773-296-3636 to schedule an appointment. We can also be contacted in Glenview at 847-901-0252, and in Lake Forest at 847-234-6121.