Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, killing nearly 9,000 people each year in the United States. It can be treated effectively when identified and diagnosed at an early stage.
Melanomas often resemble moles, but can be itchy, tender or painful. A sudden change or expansion of an existing mole – or the appearance of a new mole that is scaly, oozing or bleeding – is a cause for concern and should be evaluated as soon as possible. Dermatologists recommend that patients look for signs of melanoma using the ABCDE system, which stands for:
- Asymmetry: Moles should be roughly symmetrical.
- Border: Uneven, notched borders are cause for concern.
- Color: Multiple colors or shades in one mole is a warning sign.
- Diameter: Melanoma moles are typically larger than the diameter of a pencil eraser.
- Evolving: Moles that change in size, shape, color or other factor may be problematic.
If your doctor at Dermatology Consultants makes a melanoma diagnosis, he or she will prescribe a treatment course that involves removing the melanoma. If you notice a mole that looks suspicious based on the ABCDE guidelines or would like a skin cancer screening, please contact us at Dermatology Consultants today.