To help identify any suspicious moles that may be cancerous, the ABCDE rule is used. This rule can be applied during an at-home skin cancer check to help individuals detect potentially cancerous moles early, when the chances of successful treatment are high. The rule details how a mole should look and provides markers that may indicatea mole has become unusual interms of growth or appearance. Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cellsthat typically occurs on body parts that have had a lot of sun exposure, such as the scalp, hands, chest, arms, ears and neck. However, it’s also possible for skin cancer to appear in areas that don’t receive much sunlight, including the palms of the hands and the genital areas.
To make sureskin cancer is caught early, it’s a good idea to use the ABCDE rulewhen checking your skin. Fortunately, the rule is easy to use when conducting a skin cancer check in the comfort of your own home. However, it’s important to examine your entire body when using the ABCDE rule, including genital areas. This is because skin cancer can hide in unlikely places as well as areas that get a lot of sun exposure. Continue reading to learn the steps of the ABCDE rule.
A – Asymmetry
A normal mole or freckleon the skinis symmetrical. Look at the shape of your mole and in your mind; draw a line through the middle of it. If both halves mirror each otheron either side of the central line, then it’s likely that the mole is healthyand normal. Skin cancer moles are typically irregular in shape, meaning each side is different to the other. However, it’s important to note that asymmetrydoesn’t always indicate skin cancer, as someirregular birthmarks can be perfectly safe. For peace of mind, you can arrange a skin cancer check with a trained professional.
B – Border
It’s important to look atthe borderof a potentially suspicious mole. Normal moles, spots and beauty marks on the skin will be round and have clean edges. Moles that are cancerous will often have aborder that’s jagged or blurry.
C – Colour
Healthy moles are typicallya single colour, while suspicious moles can be a variety of colours or might change coloursuddenly. If you’re concerned about the colour of a mole, it’s best to get it checked by a professional.
D – Diameter
If a mole is larger than 6mm, it should be assessed by a doctor. Even if a moleisn’t unusual in any other way, it should be checked it it’s bigger than 6mm.
E – Elevation
If a mole orskin growth is elevatedand raised up from the skin’s surface, this can be a sign of skin cancer. If a mole changes in size, elevation or texture,make sure you get it checked out. This is especially important if your mole looks different from other moles on your body.