Monitoring those Moles

Long gone are the days of purposefully basking in the sun for hours on end. Rejoicing at attaining a good base tan (i.e. the first burn and peel of the summer) has now become mortification for being so careless.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an anti-sun fanatic, in fact I live for summers, but as I’ve gotten older, melanoma is no longer the “urban legend” it once was. As I meet more people who have had it and some at a young age, it kind of puts the positive back into embracing my pasty pale self.

Melanoma, or skin cancer kills one American every hour.  It also happens to be readily treatable if caught soon enough, so we need to be more diligent in screening our skin and checking those moles.

If you are prone to many moles you will especially want to screen them about once a month. Taking pictures every few months can help determine if you have new moles or if your existing ones are changing.

When checking your moles, there are 5 things to look for:

AAsymmetry – 2 halves of the same mole are not the same

BBorder – the border or edges of the mole are irregular

CColor – a mole has different colors or has black, blue, red or white coloring

DDiameter – the size is larger than a pencil eraser

EEvolving – the mole is changing over time

These signs are not set in stone and certainly you can get non-cancerous moles that fit the above and cancerous ones that do not fall into the above categories, but if you have the slightest concern or uncertainty, get checked out by a dermatologist. Anything suspicious will be biopsied to determine if it’s truly cancer and what treatment you may need.

For more information on moles, Melanoma and Skin Cancer, click here. In the meantime, keep using that sunblock, limit direct exposure to sun, or wear protective clothing.

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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.