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Melanoma/Skin Cancer Health Center

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Signs of Skin Cancer Are Too Often Ignored

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  • A is for Asymmetry: One-half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.
  • B is for Border: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.
  • C is for Color: The color is not the same all over, but may have differing shades of brown or black, sometimes with patches of red, white, or blue.
  • D is for Diameter: The area is larger than 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser) or is growing larger.

Skidmore tells patients to play "hide-the-mole" with a pencil eraser, and to be suspicious of any mole that isn't completely covered when you place the eraser over it.

"If the mole used to hide and doesn't hide anymore, that's a very sensitive indicator of change that should be looked at more closely," he says.

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