Skin Cancer Screenings
Skin cancer screenings is a visual inspection of your skin by a medical professional to check for changes or irregular moles. Since early diagnosis and assessment is essential, you should always consult a qualified and experienced physician if you have any concerns at all about the shape, size or changes in a mole or group of moles. You can also conduct your own skin checks to help you look out for melanoma through practicing the ABCDE method:
- Asymmetry: Check that the halves of the lesion look the same. Melanoma often appears asymmetric.
- Borders: Normal moles will have sharp, regular borders, while cancerous moles have irregular, vague borders.
- Color: A regular mole will have 1-2 different colors, while melanoma will appear multi-colored with black, brown, red and/or blue.
- Diameter: If you notice that any of your moles have grown in diameter (more than 6 millimeters in diameter – about the size of a pencil eraser ), contact your doctor for a skin check.
- Evolving: If the mole has changed at all, whether in size, shape, color, borders, or texture, call your doctor.
While self-checks may seem unnecessary, it can save a life. In Canada, 53% of melanoma skin cancer was discovered by the patient themselves during a self-check. Dr. Ben Wiese can monitor that are causing concern, arrange dermoscopy and, if necessary, skin biopsy and treatment.