An estimated 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in the course of their lifetime, and one person dies from melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – every hour. The month of May has been designated Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month to raise aware about this most common form of cancer in the U.S.
To increase an individual’s chances of spotting skin cancer early, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends learning the ABCDE rule:
- A is for Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not match the other half.
- B is for Border irregularity: The edges are ragged, notched or blurred.
- C is for Color: Color varies from one area to another.
- D is for Diameter: While melanomas are usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, they can be smaller.
- E is for Evolving: A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.