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What Are The Abcdes Of Melanoma

What Other Skin Lesions Might Have Abcdefg Features

ABCDEs of Melanoma

The ABCDEFG criteria are not very specific for melanoma, as some or all of the criteria may be displayed by another skin cancer, such as a pigmented basal cell carcinoma or pigmented squamous cell carcinoma.

Malignant melanoma mimics

A benign lesion can be asymmetrical in shape, have an irregular border, colour variation, and be different. Examples include congenital melanocytic naevus, atypical melanocytic naevus, solar lentigo, or seborrhoeic keratosis.

Melanocytic naevi can also evolve in some circumstances such as darkening after exposure to the sun, during pregnancy, and become more elevated with age seborrhoeic keratoses and solar lentigines routinely evolve over time.

Clinicians trained in dermoscopy can often correctly diagnose skin lesions, but sometimes a biopsy will be needed to confirm a diagnosis.

Benign melanoma mimics

What Is The ‘abcdefg’ Of Melanoma

The ‘ABCDE’ of melanoma is an acronym designed to help the public and clinicians identify features in a skin lesion that may suggest an early or in situmelanoma .


The EFG of melanoma is another acronym designed to help the public and clinicians identify skin changes in a lesion suggestive of nodular melanoma.


The Abcdes Of Melanoma Prevention And Detection

Melanoma survivor T.J. Sharpe discusses skin cancer prevention and detection, and shares tips on how to keep you and your loved ones safe in the sun.

It is summertime where I live, and that means a lot of fun in the sun for adults and children alike. It also means remembering sun safety for yourself, encouraging it for others, and being vigilant about checking your skin for any abnormalities. It is a LOT easier to beat Stage IV melanoma by detecting it early.

First, the detection part. Getting screened for skin cancer is among the easiest tests youll ever undergo its simply a visual inspection of your skin by a medical professional. It is equally important to self-monitor for abnormal skin lesions that could potentially lead to something worse. Keeping an eye on your skin or someone elses can save you or them from skin cancer, or catch the disease before it worsens. And it is as simple as doing your ABCsor ABCDEs.

Per the Melanoma Research Foundations website, here are the ABCDEs of melanoma:1

The best way to avoid incurring these ABCDEs is to be diligent about sun protection particularly for kids, whose chances of developing melanoma later in life increase dramatically after just a few sunburns by the time they are 20.2 Good sun protection habits start early, yet many young adults are not educated on the importance of sun safety and thus never fully develop an understanding about why it is important, especially at that critical age.

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Awareness Is Key To Melanoma Prevention

Despite the sobering statistics surrounding melanoma, a lot of people dont bother to put in the time and effort to take better care of their skin. This is especially true for guys, which is unfortunate given that they tend to have worse melanoma survival rates than women.

Learning your ABCDEs of melanoma is the first step to becoming more aware of the dangers of this deadly disease and staying cancer-free. And with May being the official month of Melanoma Awareness, there is no better time to establish a skin care routine that involves a regular self-exam.

Learn The Abcdes Of Skin Cancer

ABCDEs of Melanoma

Did you know that skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States each year? In fact, one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in his or her lifetime.

The most common skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, followed by melanoma and other skin cancers. When identified early, almost all skin cancers can be cured with treatment.

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How To Perform A Skin Self Examination

1. Your Head: Begin by facing a full-length mirror. Carefully examine your face, especially the nose, lips, mouth, and ears front and back. It may help to use a hand- held mirror as well as the full-length mirror to get a better look.

2. Your Scalp: Thoroughly examine the entire surface of your scalp, using a blow dryer and mirror to expose each section to view. Have a friend or family member help you should you need it.

3. Your Front Torso: Facing the full-length mirror, inspect your neck, chest and torso. Women: check the skin underneath each breast. Lift your arms and check the sides of your upper body as well.

4. Your Back Torso: Face away from the full-length mirror, holding the handheld mirror. Examine your back, your shoulders, the back of your neck, and any other body parts you could not see from the front. From there, continue down your body and examine your buttocks and the backs of your thighs.

5. Your Lower Body: Sit on a chair and scan your legs using the handheld mirror to look at the back of each leg. Check the tops and soles of your feet, making sure to check the spaces between your toes, and underneath your toenails. Use the handheld mirror to check your genitals and the insides of your thighs.

The early detection of melanoma is critical. Make self-skin checks a regular part of your monthly routine it could save your life.

How To Check Your Skin For Skin Cancer

Follow these tips from board-certified dermatologists to increase your chances of spotting skin cancer early, when its most treatable.

If you notice any new spots on your skin, spots that are different from others, or spots that are changing, itching or bleeding, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist.

How to check your skin for skin cancer

Follow these tips from board-certified dermatologists to increase your chances of spotting skin cancer early, when its most treatable.

If you notice any new spots on your skin, spots that are different from others, or spots that are changing, itching or bleeding, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist.

Related AAD resources

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Skin Cancer Prevention Story

Skin cancer is the most preventable cancer therefore, it is important to have your health care professional examine your skin once a year to stay healthy. Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis, and the most preventable cancer. This year, estimated 96 400 people will be diagnosed with melanoma – the most dangerous type of skin cancer – and nearly 7 200 will die of the disease. Every year, as many as two million people are diagnosed with non – melanoma skin cancer. That is why it is so important to have your health care professional examine your skin once a year, especially after age 50. Also, be sure to conduct self – exam from head to toe at home at least once a month and report any suspicious skin area, non – healing sore or change in mole or freckle to your physician.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

What Are The Abcde Criteria For A Changing Mole In The Diagnosis Of Cutaneous Melanoma

Skin Cancer Signs: The ABCDEs of Melanoma

Clinician and patient education regarding the warning signs of early melanoma has been achieved successfully through the use of the ABCDE criteria for a changing mole, which are as follows:

  • Asymmetry: Half the lesion does not match the other half.

  • Border irregularity: The edges are ragged, notched, or blurred.

  • Color variegation: Pigmentation is not uniform and may display shades of tan, brown, or black white, reddish, or blue discoloration is of particular concern.

  • Diameter: A diameter greater than 6 mm is characteristic, although some melanomas may be smaller in size any growth in a nevus warrants an evaluation.

  • Evolving: Changes in the lesion over time are characteristic this factor is critical for nodular or amelanotic melanoma, which may not exhibit the ABCD criteria above.

The ABCDEs have the greatest diagnostic accuracy when used in combination. Lesions exhibiting these features should be considered potential melanoma, although severely atypical/dysplastic nevi may be difficult to distinguish clinically. More recent use of the “ugly duckling” warning sign, in which skin examination is focused on recognition of a pigmented or clinically amelanotic lesion that simply looks different from the rest, may assist with detection of lesions that lack the classic ABCDE criteria .

  • Ossio R, Roldán-Marín R, Martínez-Said H, Adams DJ, Robles-Espinoza CD. Melanoma: a global perspective. Nat Rev Cancer. 2017 Apr 28. .

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    Mrf’s Abcdes Of Melanoma


    ABCDEs of Melanoma These basic guidelines are used by many dermatologists to help identify melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Catching melanoma early could mean the difference between life and a life-threatening cancer. Knowing what to look for and performing regular self-skin exams may help you become more aware of unusual spots that should be brought to the attention of a dermatologist. If you notice an unusual spot or a spot that has one or more of these characteristics, make an appointment with a dermatologist preferably one who has experience with melanoma.

    A Asymmetrical Shape

    Melanoma lesions are often irregular, or not symmetrical, in shape. Benign moles are usually symmetrical.

    B Border

    Typically, non-cancerous moles have smooth, even borders. Melanoma lesions usually have irregular borders that are difficult to define.

    C Color

    The presence of more than one color or the uneven distribution of color can sometimes be a warning sign of melanoma. Benign moles are usually a single shade of brown or tan.

    D Diameter

    Melanoma lesions are often greater than 6 millimeters in diameter .

    E Evolution

    The evolution of your mole has become the most important factor to consider when it comes to diagnosing a melanoma . Knowing what is normal for YOU could save your life.

    *It is important to note that not all melanomas fall within these parameters.

    What You Need To Know About Early Detection

    Finding melanoma at an early stage is crucial early detection can vastly increase your chances for cure.

    Look for anything new,changing or unusual on both sun-exposed and sun-protected areas of the body. Melanomas commonly appear on the legs of women, and the number one place they develop on men is the trunk. Keep in mind, though, that melanomas can arise anywhere on the skin, even in areas where the sun doesnt shine.

    Most moles, brown spots and growths on the skin are harmless but not always. The ABCDEs and the Ugly Duckling sign can help you detect melanoma.

    Early detection makes a difference

    99%5-year survival rate for patients in the U.S. whose melanoma is detected early. The survival rate drops to 66% if the disease reaches the lymph nodes and27% if it spreads to distant organs.

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    Why Are These Abcde And Efg Signs Important

    Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer and can progress quickly. It is treatable if identified early but if it is untreated, it may spread to other parts of the body and this can be life-threatening.

    Knowing the ABCDE and EFG features of melanoma can help you look for early signs of melanoma when performing a regular self-skin examination.

    See our video on how to perform a self-skin examination.

    Look Out For An Ugly Duckling

    Remember the ABCDEs of Melanoma!

    The Ugly Duckling is another warning sign of melanoma. This recognition strategy is based on the concept that most normal moles on your body resemble one another, while melanomas stand out like ugly ducklings in comparison. This highlights the importance of not just checking for irregularities, but also comparing any suspicious spot to surrounding moles to determine whether it looks different from its neighbors. These ugly duckling lesions or outlier lesions can be larger, smaller, lighter or darker, compared to surrounding moles. Also, isolated lesions without any surrounding moles for comparison are considered ugly ducklings.

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    What Is A Melanocyte

    Melanocytes are skin cells found in the upper layer of skin. They produce a pigment known as melanin, which gives skin its color. There are two types of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin. When skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds, it causes skin damage that triggers the melanocytes to produce more melanin, but only the eumelanin pigment attempts to protect the skin by causing the skin to darken or tan. Melanoma occurs when DNA damage from burning or tanning due to UV radiation triggers changes in the melanocytes, resulting in uncontrolled cellular growth.

    About Melanin

    Naturally darker-skinned people have more eumelanin and naturally fair-skinned people have more pheomelanin. While eumelanin has the ability to protect the skin from sun damage, pheomelanin does not. Thats why people with darker skin are at lower risk for developing melanoma than fair-skinned people who, due to lack of eumelanin, are more susceptible to sun damage, burning and skin cancer.

    When To See A Doctor

    Many melanomas are dark brown or black and are often described as changing, different, unusual, or ugly looking. However, any skin abnormality that is growing or changing quickly and does not go away, whether colored or not, should be examined by a doctor. Bleeding may be a sign of more advanced melanoma. In addition, the appearance of a new and unusual mole is more likely to be melanoma.

    If you are concerned about a new or existing mole, please talk with your family doctor or a dermatologist. Your doctor will ask how long and how often youve been experiencing the symptom, in addition to other questions. This is to help figure out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis.

    The next section in this guide is Diagnosis. It explains what tests may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.

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    What Are The Signs Of Skin Cancer

    Learning the ABCDEs of skin cancer is important in identifying, treating and preventing skin cancer, says Dr. Vinod Nambudiri a dermatologist in the Department of Dermatology at Brigham and Womens Hospital. People can look for signs of skin cancer in moles or skin lesions using these letters, and a self skin exam is quick, easy and free.

    A Asymmetry: One half is unlike the other half.

    B Borders: Irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border

    C Color: Varied from one area to another

    D Diameter: Diameter of 6mm or larger

    E Evolution: Looks different from the rest, or is changing in size, color, or shape

    Know What To Look For: The Abcdes Of Melanoma

    The ABCDEs of Melanoma

    The first signs of melanoma can appear in atypical moles. While most moles are harmless, you should see a doctor immediately if you notice any of the following changes:

    AsymmetryIf you were to draw a line down the middle of your mole, would the two halves match each other? If the two sides are asymmetrical, meaning, each side is different, then this is a warning sign of melanoma.

    BorderBenign moles have smooth borders and even borders, unlike melanomas which can be rough and uneven. While not every mole with a poorly-defined border is melanoma, moles with scalloped or jagged borders are a cause for concern.

    ColorMoles can come in a variety of colors, including tan, brown, black, red, blue and pink. What you specifically need to watch for are moles that contain two different colors. If your mole is half tan and half black, it warrants a visit to your doctor.

    DiameterMoles that are wider than 6 mm may be a warning sign of melanoma. If your mole started out small and grew past 6 mm, this is especially worrisome because melanomas are often small when first detected.

    EvolutionHave any of your moles changed over time? Although it can be tricky to track the growth of your moles, its crucial to detecting melanoma early. Also, keep an eye out for other changes in your moles such as bleeding, oozing or a crusty surface.

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    Can You Spot A Melanoma

    Melanomas often resemble moles, and some will develop from moles. The first signs of a melanoma or a malignant mole usually appear in one or more atypical moles.

    The best way to remember how to identify a melanoma is using your ABCDE’s. Here are the warning signs to spot a melanoma. If you have one or more of these signs, see a board-certified dermatologist immediately:

    A: An ASYMMETRICAL shape, meaning if you draw a line through the middle of the mole, the two sides wont match up.

    B: A benign mole has an even border. A malignant mole has an uneven BORDER.

    C: A benign mole is one color. The COLOR varies on melanomas. Most are black or brown, with a color that changes from one shade to another. You may notice skin-colored, pink, red, purple, blue or white.

    D: Benign moles are small. Malignant moles have a DIAMETER thats usually greater than 6 mm the length of a pencil eraser.

    E: Benign moles change minimally over time. A malignant mole is EVOLVING or changing. Its changing in size, shape, or color it is different from the others on your body. It may also bleed or itch.

    The Causes Of Melanoma

    Melanoma is often the result of your exposure to the suns ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays of light. These rays contain radiation from the sun, which travel through the atmosphere and are responsible for melanoma and other skin conditions, such as premature aging and damage to your eyes.

    While anyone can develop melanoma, you may be at increased risk for skin cancer if you have a family history of the condition. Other risk factors for melanoma include:

    • Frequent sunburns
    • Immune system dysfunction
    • Spending a lot of time in the sun

    Because the suns light rays cause skin cancer, its important that you always wear a high-quality, protective sunscreen that blocks these rays from damaging your skin.

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