The following ABCDEs are important signs of moles that could be skin cancer. If a mole displays any of the signs listed below, have it checked immediately by a dermatologist:
- Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not match the other half
- Border: The border or edges of the mole are ragged, blurred, or irregular
- Color: The mole has different colors or it has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red
- Diameter: The diameter of the mole is larger than the eraser of a pencil
- Evolving: The mole appears different from others and/or changing in size, color, shape
Keep in mind that some melanomas may be smaller or not fit other characteristics.You should always be suspicious of a new mole. If you do notice a new mole, see your dermatologist as soon as possible. He or she will examine the mole and take a skin biopsy (if appropriate). If it’s skin cancer, a biopsy can show how deeply it has penetrated the skin. Your dermatologist needs this information to decide how to treat the mole.
The most common location for melanoma in men is the back; in women, it is the lower leg.