May reminds us to become aware of skin cancer. Do you know your ABC's?
Moles, brown spots and growths on the skin are usually harmless — but not always. Anyone who has more than 100 moles is at greater risk for melanoma. The first signs can appear in one or more atypical moles. That's why it's so important to get to know your skin very well and to recognize any changes in the moles on your body. Look for the ABCDEs of melanoma, and if you see one or more, make an appointment with a physician immediately.
Asymmetric: If you draw a line through this mole, the two halves will not match.
Border: The borders of an early melanoma tend to be uneven. The edges may be scalloped or notched.
Color: Having a variety of colors is another warning signal. A number of different shades of brown, tan or black could appear. A melanoma may also become red, blue or some other color.
Diameter: Melanomas usually are larger in diameter than the size of the eraser on your pencil (1/4 inch or 6 mm), but they may sometimes be smaller when first detected.
Evolving: Any change — in size, shape, color, elevation, or another trait, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting — points to danger.
Read more about protecting yourself: Skin Cancer Organization