Skin Cancer Awareness RibbonMost people have moles and most moles are harmless;  but do you know how to spot a harmful one?
 
There are typical signs that skin cancer is developing (click read more to see the ABCDE Rule), but as always there are exceptions to the rule.  If you notice growths that look different from the rest of your moles.
 
Other warning signs are: A sore that does not heal; spread of pigment from the border of a spot into surrounding skin; redness or a new swelling beyond the border; change in sensation – itchiness, tenderness, or pain; change in the surface of a mole – scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or the appearance of a bump or nodule.
 
The ABCDE rule is another guide to the usual signs of melanoma. Be on the lookout and tell your doctor about spots that have any of the following features:
 
    A is for Asymmetry: One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.
    B is for Border: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.
    C is for Color: The color is not the same all over and may include shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.
    D is for Diameter: The spot is larger than 6 millimeters across (about ¼ inch – the size of a pencil eraser), although melanomas can sometimes be smaller than this.
    E is for Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.
 
Find more information about skin cancer, and a pictorial gallery at www.cancer.org.

retrieved 05/27/2015 from cancer.org
 
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