Melanoma is known to spread quickly with deadly outcomes. As such, Melanoma is considered the most serious form of skin cancer. Scary as that is, if Melanoma is detected early there is a high chance that treatment will be effective and recovery will follow.
53% of Melanomas are detected by dermatologists without being noticed by the patient. Knowing the signs of Melanoma may be crucial to saving your life. Keep reading to learn what signs to look for.
The A.B.C.D.E. Rule
There are a number of warning signs of Melanoma, the most obvious being visual or textural changes to your mole or lesions. Using this easy to remember guide you can keep track of changes to your skin and know when something seems suspicious.
A is for ASYMETRY
The shape of the mole or lesion in question does not have matching halves.
B is for BORDER
The edges of the mole or lesion is not clear. The color seems ragged or blurred, or may have spread into surrounding skin.
C is for COLOR
The color is uneven. Different colors such as black, brown, tan, white, grey, pink, red or blue may be seen.
D is for DIAMETER
If the suspicious mole or lesion changes in size there may be a problem. Increasing is more regular, but shrinking may also occur. Melanomas are typically a minimum of ¼ inch, or the size of a pencil eraser.
E is for EVOLVING
New moles or strange patches of skin, or clear changes of a mole or lesion should be paid serious attention.
THE E.F.G. Rule
Another simple to remember rule is the E.F.G. rule, which can detect a particular kind of melanoma that grows rapidly. This is called a nodular melanoma. Nodular melanoma are very symmetrical and don’t have any peculiar color traits. The most obvious warning sign is their quickly changing size, indicating their intense progression. These types of melanoma grow at an alarming rate both outwards, but faster down into your skin. Within a few months this melanoma may have buried itself very deep. Nodular melanoma mostly affect men over 50, but anyone is susceptible. It is important to catch these melanoma yearly, so remember the E.F.G. rule and look out for:
ELEVATED moles that seem to stick out further on your skin.
FIRM moles that are hard when you touch them.
GROWING moles that are increasing in size rapidly.
Other signs to pay attention to
Not all melanoma will present in the ways described above. You should arrange a MoleSafe Skin Surveillance Program appointment or an appointment with your dermatologist if you notice suspicious mole or lesion that doesn’t look like your others, changes shape, has appeared recently or itches, oozes or bleeds.
Melanoma is a serious and potentially life threatening if not caught early. You should have a skin exam, conducted by a health professional, at least annually. If you are concerned and think you may be at high risk of melanoma call us on 1-877-665-3723 today to schedule an appointment.