According to the American Academy of Dermatology, around 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. It’s the most prominent cancer in the United States and the annual statistics show no signs of it slowing down. Since it’s such a common skin condition, it’s vital that you know how to detect noticeable signs so you can seek immediate diagnosis and treatment with one of our experienced providers at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta.
Physical Signs of Melanoma
Melanoma is considered the deadliest type of skin cancer. Catching it early gives people the best chance for a safe removal. To keep at-home detection simple, there is an easy to remember system called the ABCDEs that was developed to check for melanoma.
- If you were to draw a line down the middle of any growth, mole or brown spot and both sides aren’t the same size or shape, then it’s asymmetrical and possibly cancerous.
- A benign mark on the skin tends to have a uniform or consistent border around it. Melanoma typically has uneven or irregular edges.
- Most benign moles are one consistent color. Cancerous growths are commonly a varied combination of brown, tan and black. If you’re unsure of whether your mole is one shade, it’s better to see a dermatology expert at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta.
- Melanoma often has a larger diameter than non-cancerous marks on the skin. An easy way to tell if it’s potentially cancerous is with a pencil eraser. If the mark is bigger than the diameter of the eraser, then it might be cancerous.
- Benign moles look the same over the years, often without changing in color, size or shape. Melanoma changes or evolves if left untreated. This is why it’s important to complete frequent skin cancer self-checks in between your professional full-body skin cancer checks by a dermatologist.
Importance of an Annual Full Body-Check
Self-checks for skin cancer are a great way to be on-the-alert for any bodily changes. However, it should be routinely done in between full-body skin cancer checks at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta. To the untrained eye, it can be difficult to tell which moles could be carcinogenic. To be safe, you should seek the professional advice of an experienced dermatologist.
Catching melanoma early in its progression can make a significant difference in your health. If you have any questions about skin cancer or would like to schedule a body check, call our office at (404) 256-4457. When you schedule a body check this May 2019, you can take 20% off any one skin care product. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for information about our skin care services and updates about monthly cosmetic specials.