Identifying skin cancer early is crucial in treating this condition successfully. While skin cancer has a very high curability rate, it can turn serious and even deadly if left untreated. To ensure your skin’s health, you should be familiar with the earliest signs of skin cancer. Find out more about the early signs of skin cancer with Dr. Karen Maffei at Athens Dermatology in Watkinsville, GA.
Is this mole normal?
The easiest way to determine if a mole is suspicious is to use the American Cancer Society’s ABCDE rule:
- Asymmetry: A suspicious mole appears asymmetrical while a normal mole is almost always symmetrical.
- Border: A mole’s border should be smooth and round or ovular.
- Color: The color of a normal mole can vary from light pink to dark brown. However, if your mole is very dark or has two or more colors within its borders, it may be cancerous.
- Diameter: A normal mole is usually smaller in diameter than 6 millimeters, or the eraser of a pencil.
- Evolving: A normal mole stays the same and does not change. Suspicious moles can change in appearance, changing color or shape rapidly in a short period of time.
What are some other early signs of skin cancer?
Skin cancer almost always begins as a discoloration on the skin which looks like a mole. While there are certain ways to tell if a mole may be cancerous. However, some cases do not follow the usual signs and symptoms. Some early signs of cancer is a sore that doesn’t heal, the spread of pigment from the inside of a discoloration to the surrounding skin, sudden itching or tenderness around a mole, or a mole that suddenly appears to change on its surface and begins to ooze or bleed.
Regular Skin Examinations in Watkinsville, GA
If you think you could have a suspicious mole or discoloration, you should consult with your dermatologist to ensure that it is not a sign of skin cancer. Regular skin examinations allow your doctor to find and treat these suspicious moles early. For more information on skin cancer or to schedule a skin examination, please contact Dr. Maffei at Athens Dermatology in Watkinsville, GA. Call (706) 769-1550 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Maffei today!