Skin Cancer Screening
What it is: Screening involves checking your moles, or having a doctor check them, for changes that could be signs of basal cell cancer, melanoma, or squamous cell skin cancer. Although the USPSTF did not find enough evidence to recommend regular screening for skin cancer at home or in your doctor’s office, you can take a few simple steps to look for signs of trouble ahead.
If you see any of the ABCDEs of skin cancer when checking your moles, make an appointment with your doctor:
- Asymmetry: One side of your mole is different from the other.
- Border: Your mole’s edge has an irregular shape, is scalloped or is not well defined.
- Color: Your mole’s color varies, with shades of tan, brown, black, white, red or blue.
- Diameter: You have a mole that’s larger than the diameter of a pencil eraser.
- Evolving: Your mole has changed size, shape or color.
Why you should check your moles: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States, according to the CDC, and rates are on the rise. Over 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed every year, the American Cancer Society notes, including both melanoma and basal cell carcinoma.