Skin Cancer: Would You Know It If You Had It?

With the summer comes exposure to the sun—sometimes more than is healthy. And too much exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer.

The first symptom of melanoma (skin cancer) is often a change in a mole, or the appearance of a new mole that has ABCD characteristics. 

These ABCD rules can help you tell a normal mole from cancer:

  • Asymmetry. One half of the mole does not match the other half.
  • Border irregularity. The edges of the mole are ragged or irregular.
  • Color. The mole has different colors in it. It may be tan, brown, black, red, or other colors. Or it may have areas that appear to have lost color.
  • Diameter. The mole is bigger than 6 millimeters across, about the size of a pencil eraser. But some melanomas can be smaller.
  • Evolving. A mole changes in size, shape, or color.

In addition to wearing sunscreen and limiting sun exposure, take a few minutes to screen yourself or your spouse for spots, bumps and skin irritations that may indicate melanoma.

To help you perform an initial screening, here are some resources from GMC:

If you find any unusual spots or moles, or if you’re ready to be screened by a professional, find the perfect physician for you at


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