Tips for Identifying Suspicious Moles

News Note

While melanoma makes up only 4 percent of skin cancer cases, it is the most lethal type, accounting for approximately 8,000 deaths annually. Fortunately, there’s good news. Skin Self Examinations (SSEs) — a simple step-by-step, early detection approach — can reduce up to 63 percent of these deaths, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

The AAD recommends taking photographs of suspicious areas to determine a baseline so that you can effectively monitor any changes. The “ABCD” approach can then be applied:

Watch the Moles

News Note

Half of all cases of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, develops from moles. The average Caucasian American adult has 24 moles. A 1998 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association confirmed that the number, size and appearance of moles all affect the risk of melanoma. Any mole that changes shape, color or size; any sore that doesn’t heal; any persistent patch of irritated skin; or any new growth, may be a sign of cancer and require professional attention.