What does melanoma look like?

1507624_10154138986112524_3105502222573397501_nThe pictures are not pretty, and many are not similar, hence the sneaky nature of melanoma. But they’re all melanoma. And to be honest, I hope they scare you into taking this “skin cancer” seriously. Far too many people don’t. As you can see, in spite of the fact that the melanoma community calls melanoma “the black beast,” melanomas aren’t always black. So here you go, a photo board that appears on AIM at Melanoma’s Facebook page that helps show that melanomas can look different from each other, and what can make diagnosis a challenge.

In addition to knowing what a melanoma could look like, we should talk about the 5 things that you NEED to look for when you check your skin EVERY SINGLE MONTH because that’s what you should be doing, in addition to regular visits to a board-certified dermatologist. To that end, here are the ABCDE’s of melanoma. Get to know them, these five little letters that could save your life. And then grab a mirror, get naked and check your skin head to toe. Literally. It’s much easier with a partner to help, by the way. Do it the first of every month.  Makes it much harder to forget about. If you follow my “Your Tan May Be Killing You” Facebook page, you’ll even get a reminder every month.

Change in a mole/evolution is now the most important factor in diagnosing a melanoma. If you have ANY change in a mole, you need to see a dermatologist as soon as possible. Please don’t be me. I waited; far too long to see a dermatologist. Please don’t end up being diagosed at Stage IIIB as opposed to Stage 0 or Stage 1. Please. Then hopefully you won’t have to deal with eight…yes EIGHT…major surgeries in less than 2-1/2 years.

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Filed under: Melanoma, Skin Cancer

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