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ABCDE Rule for Skin Cancer

Most of your "suspicious" moles will turn out to be benign, however, finding a malignant lesion in time is important. Better safe than sorry!

This simple system was designed to help you to identify any abnormal growths.

A - Asymmetry: Normal moles or freckles are completely symmetrical. If you were to draw a line through a normal spot, you would have two symmetrical halves. In cases of skin cancer, spots don't look the same on both sides.

B - Border: A mole or spot with blurry and/or jagged edges.


C - Colour: A mole that is more than one hue is suspicious and needs to be evaluated by a doctor. Normal spots are usually one colour. This can include lightening or darkening of the mole. Melanoma cells usually continue to produce melanin, which accounts for the cancers appearing in mixed shades of tan, brown and black.

D - Diameter: If it is larger than a pencil eraser (about 1/4 inch or 6mm), it needs to be examined by a doctor. This is includes areas that do not have any other abnormalities (color, border, asymmetry). But, don't be fooled by size alone - it can be smaller.


E - Elevation/Evolving: Elevation means the mole is raised above the surface and has an uneven surface. Looks different from the rest or changing in size, shape, colour.

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