The word “cancer” brings about many anxieties for adults. The idea of being diagnosed with cancer is scary, but luckily, there are screenings for just about every type of cancer that can be completed regularly to monitor for cancerous growths in and on the body. The same applies to skin cancer—our skin is the largest and most visible organ on the body, and with an early diagnosis of skin cancer, patients can seek effective treatment and enjoy a positive prognosis. However, early detection is necessary, and this occurs with skin cancer screenings. The Skin and Laser Surgery Center of New England recommends annual screenings, but if mole changes or new skin growths occur that require evaluation, it is best to make an appointment.
What changes can occur to a mole that may indicate skin cancer?
The American Academy of Dermatology, or AAD, has specific recommendations as to what to look for in a mole that may be indicative of cancerous cells. These changes may include:
- Asymmetry – if one half of a mole does not match the other in shape, color, and size
- Border – if the edges of a mole are irregular, poorly defined, or scalloped in appearance
- Color – color changes or inconsistent color throughout the mole
- Diameter – moles larger than approximately 6 millimeters
- Evolution – a lesion or mole that is different from others and changes in shape, size, and/or color
These tips are sometimes referred to as the “ABCDE’s of Skin Cancer,” making it easy for patients to monitor mole progression and get an evaluation performed when concerns arise. Along with annual skin cancer screenings, patients who monitor their skin for changes will be more likely to catch any developing skin cancer in the earliest of stages of the best possible outcome.
Are you concerned about a mole or skin growth?
Regular skin cancer screenings are highly encouraged by our team, typically every year. If you are in need of a skin cancer screening, or are between appointments and notice unusual changes or developments to moles or skin growths, it is time to make an appointment for an evaluation. The Skin and Laser Surgery Center of New England has three locations throughout the area. Call to request an examination and take proactive steps towards protecting yourself from skin cancer.