Skin cancer signs – the ugly duckling concept
Moles, existing spots or growths and any changes in their appearance often provide the first clues. New moles and growths and any skin lesions that bleed, itch or don’t heal are also warning signs that should not be ignored.
The “ugly duckling” method gives you a tool for putting your self-examinations into context. The idea is that moles and other growths anywhere on your body should resemble each other in shade and shape. Any ugly ducklings that obviously don’t match the others are a warning sign. An asymmetrical shape may also be a sign of melanoma or other skin cancer.
Looking for skin cancer signs – the ABCDE method
The ABCDE method expands on the ugly duckling concept in a more precise way, providing tools for evaluating any moles or irregular growths that you have found.
A stands for asymmetry and B refers to any irregularities about the border of the mole. C signifies variations in colour and D for diameter – i.e. any mole with a diameter of over 6mm should be considered with suspicion. E stands for evolution or changes over time.
Keeping both methods in mind as you perform self-checks should maximize your chances for an early discovery of any skin cancer signs.