Is it a mole or skin cancer?

A = Asymmetry

One half is unlike the other half.

B = Border

An irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.

C = Color

Is varied from one area to another; has shades of tan, brown or black, or is sometimes white, red, or blue.

D = Diameter

It’s suspicious if the diameter is larger than the eraser of a pencil.

E = Evolving

A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.


In the warmer months, we tend to wear clothes exposing more skin, you might notice what TMC dermatologist Paul Reicherter, MD, calls “suspicious characters,” a mole or freckle that looks different from the others or that has any characteristics of the ABCDEs of melanoma.

“This is particularly important for those at highest risk — fair-complected caucasians age 50 and older, but African-American patients can get melanoma too,” says Dr. Reicherter, pointing out that Reggae rocker Bob Marley died of melanoma.

“Family history is also relevant, although most of our skin cancer patients do not have family history,” says Dr. Reicherter. “Although older age is a factor, younger patients can get melanomas, too.”

Dr. Reicherter is head of the state-of-the-art Dermatology Clinic at University Health, which provides general dermatology services, surgical dermatology, Mohs micrographic surgery, light therapy, patch testing, electrodesiccation curettage and other services. The Clinic is accepting new patients. Please call today at 816-404-7810 and you can be scheduled for the next available appointment.

 
 

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