How to Self-Check Your Moles for Skin Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, as many as 3.3 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year, amounting to about 5.4 million cases, with some people developing it more than once. It’s estimated that about 2,000 people pass each year from skin cancer, but fortunately, those numbers are dropping thanks to understanding when and how to take action. Early detection of skin cancer can save your life.

Performing a self-examination on a regular basis helps you take notice of changes in your skin, such as color and size changes in existing moles or the occurrence of brand new spots.

Now that summer’s in full swing, it’s best to start paying closer attention to your skin after spending time in the sun. Here’s what you need to look for, followed by step-by-step self-examination instructions for skin cancer screening:

The ABCDE rule
According to the American Cancer Society, spotting the common signs of melanoma is simple when you keep the ABCDE rule in mind:

Asymmetry: When one side of the mole doesn’t match the other. Border: You’re uncertain of the edges – the mole is irregular. Color: The color is not consistent. The mole may include patches of brown, black or even pink, white or blue. Diameter: When the spot is longer than ¼-inch. Evolving: You notice the spot changing in size, shape and/or color. Ask for help from a family member or friend during the self-exam if necessary.

Performing the Self Exam
Once you

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