Approximately one person dies every hour of every day in the United States from melanoma, making it the most lethal form of skin cancer. However, when detected, diagnosed and treated early, the cure rate is about 95%. Early detection of melanoma comes from remembering the “ABCDEs” of disease:
- A = Asymmetry. If you could fold the lesion in half, the two sides would not match.
- B = Border. The border of the melanoma is typically blurred or uneven.
- C = Color. Melanomas usually have more than one color (brown, black, tan or red) with mixed shades.
- D = Diameter. The diameter of most diagnosed melanomas is around 6 mm. That’s why early detection is so important. Always have your doctor examine any problematic mole.
- E = Evolving. Moles changing in size, shape or color should be examined by your doctor.
Dermatologists believe the innate behaviors of the high-risk group, older Caucasian men, may have a lot to do with the mortality rate of the disease. Since older men spend little time examining their bodies, early detection of melanoma is often compromised. Knowing what your moles look like is often critical to catching a melanoma early. If you have an odd mole, skin lesion or sore that won’t heal, call Park Avenue Dermatology at 1-904-541-0315 to schedule an appointment in Orange Park or Fleming Island.