Melanoma is the most dangerous and lethal type of skin cancer. Melanoma is less common form of skin cancer than others but it causes majority of death then other form of skin cancer. The survival rate for melanoma is directly related to early detection. If it is detected early it can be treated and cured. If the cancer has already advanced and spread to other parts of the body than it is most dangerous and difficult treat and death may occur.
So it is critically important to understand and learn to see and detect the early signs of melanoma. You can perform a self skin examination from head to toe for any sign of melanoma. While doing the self skin examination you should remember the “ABCD rule of melanoma”. This can help you detect any changes in your skin lesion or moles which will help early diagnosis of melanoma so it can be treated effectively and cured. Follow the following ABCD of Melanoma.
ABCD of Melanoma:
Asymmetry: Look for any asymmetry of the lesion, which means if the shape of one half doesn’t match the other, then there is a problem.
Border: Check the border or edges of the lesion. If the border of the lesion is rough, irregular or blurred, then its time to immediately visit your doctor.
Color: Check for the color of the lesion or mole. If the lesion has variation of color like black, tan, brown, red and blue, it could indicate a problem.
Diameter: Melanomas are usually larger then 6mm which is around the size of the eraser on a pencil.
Evolution: In addition to above ABCD, you also must pay attention to evolution. Remember if the mole has changed over time.
So, if you remember and follow the above ABCDE rule of melanoma, it will help in early detection of melanoma and can be treated easily and cured.
Remember: When doing self skin examination do not forget to see the back (your partner can assist you), because many of the melanoma cases have been diagnosed on the back too.
If you find any suspected lesion after going through ABCDE of the lesion immediately consult your dermatologist. It is wise to visit a dermatologist for any suspected lesion as early as possible. Don’t try to diagnose it yourself just by following ABCDE rule.