Protect yourself – Practice your ABCs

(Photo Credit: Pixabay)

(Photo Credit: Pixabay)

Did you know skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States? Luckily, it's highly treatable if you catch it early. That's why it's so important to practice your ABCs at least once a month. 

No, we're not talking about the song you recited in elementary school. These are the ABCDEs of Melanoma. 

A - Asymmetry

Moles should be symmetrical. So if you were to draw a line from top to bottom or from right to left, both sides of the mole should look the same. If they don't, get it checked out.

B - Border

The edge or border of your moles should be round and smooth. If it's irregular, scalloped or poorly defined, make an appointment with your dermatologist. 

C - Color

Moles come in all sorts of different colors. Some are light, some are dark. But if a mole ever has multiple colors, it's time to get that checked out. 

D - Diameter

Melanomas are generally larger than 6mm when they're diagnosed. You can easy check to see if your moles are a safe size by grabbing a pencil and making sure the spots are smaller than the eraser. (Note: Although it's not very common, Melanomas can be smaller than 6mm so it's always best to see a professional about concerning moles or spots.)

E - Evolving

Last but not least, a mole that's changing shape, size or color can also be a sign of cancer. Get it checked. 

Check out the American Academy of Dermatology's infographic for self-screening tips and examples of suspicious moles here