The ABCDEs of Recognizing Melanoma


1 in 40 girls might be affected by melanoma, probably the most severe kind of pores and skin most cancers, in her lifetime. 

What’s melanoma?

Melanoma is a kind of pores and skin most cancers that may develop anyplace in your physique.

In white individuals, melanoma is most typical on the face, arms, leg and again.

In individuals of colour, melanoma is most typical on the palms of the hand, the soles of the toes and fingernail and toenail beds. 

What does melanoma appear like?

It may be arduous to see indicators of pores and skin most cancers for those who don’t know what you’re searching for. One easy trick that can assist you spot melanoma? Keep in mind your ABCDEs.

The ABCDE Evaluation: 5 Warning Indicators of Melanoma


One facet of the mole is totally different from the opposite


Mole has an irregular border (edge) that isn’t well-defined


Colours (or shades of colour) differ from one space of the mole to the following

Diameter/ Dark

Mole measures 1/4 inch or bigger (concerning the dimension of a pencil eraser) or is darker than different moles


The mole is altering in form, dimension or colour 

There’s a map for that!

The American Academy of Dermatology has a downloadable physique mole map the place you can also make notes throughout your self-exams. 

Beware the ugly duckling

The “ugly duckling” is a mole that appears totally different from all of the others, and it’s one other warning signal of melanoma. 

Screening saves lives!

One other instrument to place in your pores and skin most cancers detection toolbox? Yearly screenings, that are particularly vital for those who’re at elevated threat for pores and skin most cancers. 

Some threat elements : 

  • Truthful hair or pores and skin

  • Freckles

  • Blue or light-colored eyes

  • Greater than 50 moles

  • Historical past of frequent or intense solar publicity

  • A number of blistering sunburns

  • Household historical past of melanoma 

Melanoma is very treatable when it’s caught early. Realizing the warning indicators of melanoma and often checking your pores and skin might help you notice pores and skin most cancers early, earlier than it has an opportunity to unfold. 

  • The common 5-year survival fee for melanomas which might be caught early is about 99%

  • As soon as melanomas unfold to the lymph nodes, the 5-year survival fee drops to 62% 

  • If melanomas unfold to farther physique websites, similar to organs, that quantity drops to 18%

Treating melanoma

How melanoma is handled will depend on how deep it’s and if it has unfold. 

  • Most melanomas are eliminated with minor surgical procedure that cuts out the most cancers and a number of the regular pores and skin surrounding it. 

  • Extra superior melanomas could name for extra invasive surgical procedure and/or different remedies, similar to radiation remedy.

When unsure, test it out!

If in case you have a mole that appears prefer it may be an issue however you’re unsure, discuss to a healthcare supplier.

This useful resource was created with help from Merck.