How To Detect Melanoma
HOW TO DETECT MELANOMA
Survival rate for melanoma is high if detected early and unlike other cancers, melanoma is often clearly visible on the skin.
Use the ABCDE’s of melanoma to check your skin monthly, if you detect any changes to your moles, contact your doctor for
a referral to a dermatologist.
If you notice one or more of the following ABCDE’s below, please speak to you health care provider.
When spotted early, melanoma has a cure rate of 85%. Check your skin monthly.
The two halves of the mole have different shapes.
The edge of the mole is irregular. It may look blurred, ragged, or notched. Pigment may spread into the skin around the mole.
The colour of the mole is uneven. The mole may have different shades of tan, brown, and black, sometimes with blue, gray, red, pink, or white.
While melanomas are usually greater than 6 mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, they can be smaller.
The mole has changed in the past few weeks or months. It may be itchy, scaling or bleeding.
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CHECK YOUR SKIN MONTHLY
As you begin self-examinations it is important to visit a physician to establish a baseline for your moles, blemishes, freckles, and any other marks on your skin, so that you may begin to monitor your skin for any changes. If melanoma is found and treated early, the chances for long-term survival are excellent. However, as it progresses, melanoma becomes increasingly harder to treat and there are limited successful options for treatment.
Skin Check Tools
Learn how to conduct a skin self check, and what to look for, with our new video, or use your Alexa or Google Assistant.
A voice-activated digital assistant ‘Skin Check’ app – Available on both Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant platforms, the app guides people through what to look for, and the seven steps for conducting a full-body skin exam. The assistant finished by offering to set a recurring monthly reminder for the exam. Once enabled, users can simply ask Alexa or Google: “Open Skin Check”
A skin self-exam video – Similar in scope to the app, the video covers the ABCD&E warning signs of melanoma, and the seven steps for checking the body. Pauses between the seven steps have been included in the film, so that the viewer can simply take their phone or tablet into a bathroom, hit play, and follow the instructions in real time.
Check your skin in a well lit area and ask someone to assist you in checking your skin in hard to see areas.
FRONT, BACK, LEFT, RIGHT
Examine your the front and back of your body in a mirror. Then look at your right and left sides, arms raised.
ARMS AND HANDS
Bend your elbows, and look carefully at your forearms, back of upper arms and palms. Check your fingers and under fingernails.
LEGS AND TOES
Look at the backs of your legs and feet, spaces between toes, toenails and soles.
Examine the back of your neck and scalp with a hand mirror. Part your hair and lift to carefully check.
ABDOMEN AND BOTTOCKS
Finally, check your abdomen, back and buttocks with a hand mirror.