Early Warning Signs of Melanoma

When people hear the word “cancer” it can invoke a strong, scary response. Skin cancer is the most common type, and one in five Americans are reported to developing skin cancer over their lifetime. It is therefore important to know about prevention and early warning signs, as most skin cancers that are detected early are curable.

Melanoma is the most deadly of skin cancers, which causes cancerous growths that can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. It is estimated that melanoma kills over 10,100 people each year. Melanoma usually forms from moles on the body, so incorporate monthly self-exams and look for these early warning signs through the ABCDEs checklist:

  • Asymmetry – The two halves of the mole are different in shape, color, or size.
  • Border – The border of the mole is not easily defined or may have notched edges.
  • Color – There are different shades of brown, tan, black within one area.
  • Diameter – The mole has a diameter greater than 6mm.
  • Evolving – There are changes in size, shape, color, or new symptoms like itching, pain or bleeding.

If you notice any of these signs during a self-exam, it is important to seek the help from an experienced dermatologist. Melanoma spreads rapidly, so the earlier you consult with a dermatologist, the higher chances you will have of a complete cure. Dr. Juan Vaillant of Old Bridge Dermatology has over 30 years of experience in the field and has treated all types of skin, hair, and nail conditions such as acne, eczema, dandruff, psoriasis, skin cancer, and nail fungus. Dr. Vaillant is compassionate, experienced, respected, and is dedicated to helping you achieve a healthier body! To schedule an appointment, please call our office in Old Bridge, NJ at (732) 679-0222!