ABCDEs of Melanoma Skin Cancer

The ABCDEs of melanoma

Source: NCI Visuals Online. Skin Cancer Foundation. http://visualsonline.cancer.gov/about.cfm

The ABCDEs of melanoma skin cancer are:

  • Asymmetry. One half doesn't match the appearance of the other half.
  • Border irregularity. The edges are ragged, notched, or blurred.
  • Colour. The colour (pigmentation) is not uniform. Shades of tan, brown, and black are present. Dashes of red, white, and blue add to a mottled appearance.
  • Diameter. The size of the mole is greater than 6 mm (1/4 inch), about the size of a pencil eraser. Any growth of a mole should be evaluated.
  • Evolution. There is a change in the size, shape, symptoms (such as itching or tenderness), surface (especially bleeding), or colour of a mole.

Current as of: August 22, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Brian D. O'Brien MD - Internal Medicine
Amy McMichael MD - Dermatology

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