A friend of ours died from skin cancer a few years back. You would think this would be "close enough to home" to make me vigilant with getting my own skin checked yearly, but it hasn't.
Life gets busy, you put things off. Well, from here on out, I am making a promise to myself to go in and get my skin checked. Every. Single. Year. From now on.
We all need reminders sometimes to take care of ourselves. Posting this is a reminder to myself, and hopefully to you, too. Skin cancer can happen to anyone, any race, any skin type. But those with excessive sun exposure are most at risk.
Knowing a few simple warning signs of melanoma can be instrumental in finding early skin cancers.
Look for the ABCD&Es of Melanoma:
Benign, normal moles should be symmetric. You may notice moles where one half looks very different from the other half. If you mentally draw a line through the middle of a mole, the two sides should match. If they do not, this asymmetry may be an early warning sign for melanoma skin cancer.
B: Border irregularity
Benign moles have a smooth, even border. Your attention might be drawn to a mole with a jagged border. A notched, irregular, blurred or scalloped edge should alert you to the possibility of an early melanoma and the mole should be checked by your Dermatologist.
There is no single color that is worrisome. Some people have very deeply pigmented moles, while others might be a light reddish brown. The key is that a mole should be evenly colored throughout. A single mole that has multiple colors within it may be an early sign of skin cancer.
Benign moles are usually less than 6 mm in size. Moles that are larger than the diameter of a pencil eraser are thought to be more worrisome for skin cancer. Spotting a large mole may alert you to the presence of an early melanoma.
Benign moles tend to look the same over time. If a mole starts to evolve or change in size, shape, symptoms, color or elevation, this may be an early sign of melanoma, and again, you should see your Dermatologist to have them check the mole.
And a few more examples....