Doing regular self-checks on your skin is important to find skin cancer early. If you're high-risk, it’s especially vital.
Dr. Cecilia Larocca, a dermatologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, recommends looking at your skin once a month for anything suspiciousand using the acronym ABCDE as a checklist:
- Asymmetrical moles: If you drew a line straight down the center of the mole, would the sides match? If not, your mole is considered asymmetrical
- Borders: The edges of your mole look irregular, jagged, or uneven; can also stand for bleeding
- Colors: Multiple distinct colors in the mole, including patches of pink, brown, grey, and blackbut could be any color
- Diameter: Larger than 6mm, about the size of a pencil head eraser
- Evolution: Anything that’s changing over time such as gaining color, losing color, pain, itching, changing shape, etcâ€¦
If you notice any of these changes, see your dermatologist for a full skin assessment. Early detection of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, improves your chances for successful treatment.