Often the first sign of melanoma is a change in the size, shape, or color of a mole. Thinking of "ABCD" can help you remember the signs of melanoma:
- Asymmetry - the shape of one half does not match the other
- Border Irregularity - the edges are ragged, notched, or blurred
- Color - the color is uneven. Shades of black, brown, or tan are present. Areas of white, red or blue may be seen; and
- Diameter - there is a change in size or the spot is larger in diameter than a pencil eraser.
Other signs of melanoma may include scaling, oozing, bleeding of a mole, the appearance of a bump or nodule, spread of pigment (mole color) from the border into the surrounding skin, or a change sensation including itchiness, tenderness or pain.
Basal and Squamous Cell
The most common warning sign of skin cancer is a change on the skin, especially a new growth or a sore that does not heal. These non-melanoma skin cancers may have many different looks. They may start as a small, smooth, shiny, pale or waxy lump or they may appear as a firm red lump. The lump may bleed or develop a crust. Skin cancer can also start as a flat, red spot that is rough, dry or scaly.
If you have any of the symptoms of skin cancer, see your physician as soon as possible. Remember skin cancer can usually be cured if it is found and treated early!