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The ABCDE’s of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer affects millions of Americans each year. Although not always deadly, skin cancer is still a serious medical condition that should be addressed by a qualified medical professional. If you suspect you might have skin cancer, a dermatologist at Georgia Dermatology Center and Medical Spa in Cumming, GA, will gladly see you.

The cancer often starts off as a mole resulting from sun exposure. Over time, the cancer could grow and spread to other areas of the body, so it is especially important to have it treated promptly in order to avoid further complications. One of the best ways to know whether or not a skin spot might be cancerous is to use the ABCDE evaluation system.
 

A: Asymmetry

A healthy mole will generally divide into two even halves if you were to draw a line down the center. If the halves are uneven, it is considered asymmetrical, and this could be a warning sign that the mole is cancerous.
 

B: Border

Noncancerous moles generally tend to have smooth borders that are even. Moles that have jagged edges are considered suspicious.
 

C: Color

If you notice a mole or another type of skin spot that is multicolored, you should have it checked out immediately. Cancerous moles often have multiple shades of brown, tan and black and may also be speckled with red and blue.
 

D: Diameter

Melanomas, in particular, are usually larger in diameter than benign moles. You should see a dermatologist if you have a mole with a diameter that is more than a quarter of an inch in size (or roughly the size of an erasure on a pencil).
 

E: Evolution

Moles that appear to look the same over an extended period of time are generally not a cause for concern. However, you should be cautious of any moles or other skin spots that change in color, shape or size. A cancerous mole may also become more elevated or start to itch or bleed.
 
Fortunately, skin cancer can often be treated effectively if it is detected before it reaches an advanced stage. Georgia Dermatology Center and Medical Spa offers skin cancer screenings and treatment options to residents of:
 

  • Atlanta
  • Cumming
  • Milton
  • Alpharetta
  • Gainesville
  • Suwanee
  • Sandy Springs
  • Roswell

If you would like more information regarding skin cancer or need to schedule an appointment, please contact the friendly and helpful staff at Georgia Dermatology Center and Medical Spa today.

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