Preventing Skin Cancer: As Simple As ABC (And D & E)

May 13, 2013

It's the nation's most common type of diagnosed cancer, and sadly, more and more teens and young adults are falling prey to the disease.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Know the signs of melanoma.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and America's dermatologists have a message for kids obsessed with tanning: don't.

"More and more children and young adults are being affected by melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer," Says Dr. Anokhi Jambusaria of Jacksonville's Mayo Clinic. "Awareness is key, because melanoma is easy to prevent, but hard to treat."

Jambusaria says it's easy to spot a potentially dangerous mole - follow the ABCDE method:

  • A stands for asymmetry. If a mole isn't symmetrical, that's cause for concern.
  • B is for borders. Does your mole have a clear border? Or not? If the answer is no, get it checked.
  • C is for color. If your brown spot is multi-hued, call the derm.
  • D is short for diameter. If your mole is bigger around than a pencil eraser, take a second look.
  • E means evolution. Has the appearance of the mole changed over time? That's a red flag.

Jambusaria says preventing skin cancer is simple common sense. Avoid tanning beds, wear sunscreen, and reapply frequently. 

You can learn more about melanoma here.