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.

ABCDE’S

When spotted early, melanoma has a cure rate of 85%. Check your skin monthly.

Asymmetry Melanoma

ASYMMETRY

The two halves of the mole have different shapes.

border melanoma

BORDER

The edge of the mole is irregular. It may look blurred, ragged, or notched. Pigment may spread into the skin around the mole.

C COLOUR melanoma

COLOUR

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.

DIAMETER

While melanomas are usually greater than 6 mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, they can be smaller.

EVOLUTION

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.

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.

HEAD

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.

Did you have your moles checked during your last annual checkup?

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QUESTIONS?

Reach out to our health care navigator to learn more about the next steps in prevention and early detection.
Contact Mary Zawadzki  mzawadzki@melanomanetwork.ca or call (905) 901-5121 ext. 108.

Find a Dermatologist

How to Prevent Melanoma

The leading cause of melanoma is over exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or artificial sources.

Tanning Beds are Dangerous

In 2009, WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified exposure to UV-emitting tanning devices as carcinogenic to humans.

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