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What should you look for when examining your moles for skin cancer?

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Examine your skin with a mirror. Pay close attention to areas of your skin that are often exposed to the sun, such as the hands, arms, chest, and head. The following "ABCDEs" are important signs of moles that could be skin cancer. If a mole displays any of the signs listed below, have it checked immediately by a dermatologist: Asymmetry:

  • One half of the mole does not match the other half.
  • Border: The border or edges of the mole are ragged, blurred, or irregular.
  • Color: The mole has different colors or it has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red.
  • Diameter: The diameter of the mole is larger than the eraser of a pencil.
  • Evolving: The mole appears different from others and/or changing in size, color, shape.

From: Moles and Skin Cancer Screening WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: 

American Academy of Dermatology. 

American Cancer Society.

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on October 10, 2017

SOURCES: 

American Academy of Dermatology. 

American Cancer Society.

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on October 10, 2017

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What should you keep in mind when examining moles for skin cancer?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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