May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

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May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Patients often ask how do I know if a mole is ok?? It is one of the most common questions we get asked as Dermatologists. Over the years I have struggled with the answer.  Most will have heard of the ABCD. Some of the signs to look out for when checking your spots:

A- Asymmetry

B- Border irregularity

C- colour variation

D- diameter greater than eraser head

E- could mean eccentric or different than your other spots or evolving/growing .

But  what does it really mean? My response today is to tell patients that things in nature like a flower, tree, scrub or in this case your mole have symmetry to them. Nature is symmetry, something cancerous is not. It is really an amazing thing. Have you ever looked at how beautiful a rose is in its symmetry? The most important thing to remember when checking your moles is this:  IF YOU CUT IT IN HALF IT SHOULD BE A MIRROR IMAGE OF THE OTHER SIDE. This rule takes into account colour and border irregularities.  Even if you have “funny” moles that we call dysplastic- if you put a line down the middle of them they are the similar on both sides.  Cancers are things growing out of control- the symmetry is lost.  Imagine a rose with several petals gone in one area.

So this May when you are checking your moles- think about beautiful spring flowers and the beauty of nature that is symmetry when you are checking them. 🌸

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