Should You Worry About That Mole? Here’s How To Tell…

The left column shows examples of melanomas. The right column shows examples of normal moles. These examples are not comprehensive, and you should have a dermatologist take a look at any moles you’re concerned about.


Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 20% of Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives if current trends continue.
While not all skin cancers are deadly, melanoma, the most dangerous and third-most-common kind, is extremely deadly if not found early. The American Cancer Society estimates that in the United States in 2014, about 76,100 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed, and 9,710 people are expected to die from the disease.
Fortunately, melanoma is easy to treat if caught early enough, and it usually provides a telltale sign that you should talk to your doctor about: a mole, blemish, or mark on your skin. There’s an easy way to evaluate those moles, which can be remembered with the acronym ABCDE.
We had Dr. Amy Derick, a clinical instructor of dermatology at Northwestern University, walk us through these common guidelines.
Know Your ABCDEs
A stands for asymmetry. If one half of a mole looks different from another, that’s a sign that the mole could be cancerous.

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