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Self Check for Melanoma

Self-Check for Melanoma

You will want to examine your body, scalp and face once monthly to monitor for melanoma symptoms. What are you looking for? You are investigating your body for moles, brown spots and growths. Though usually harmless, moles and spots may be the beginning of a more serious condition and should be monitored carefully.

You are looking for what is known as the ABCDs of Melanoma:
  • Asymmetry - An imbalance in the appearance of your mole where one side may differ from the other.
  • Border - With ragged edges, your mole may appear blurred or have an irregular outline. Sometimes, pigment may spread and affect the surrounding skin.
  • Color - Uneven shades of tan, brown and even black can pop up with lighter areas (white, grey, red, pink or even blue) as well.
  • Diameter - If your moles/spots change size (become bigger), you will want to contact your physician immediately. Melanomas are usually bigger than the eraser of a pencil (1/4 inch).
Using a bright light, examine your face and your scalp - using a comb and blow dryer to separate hair and reveal the scalp. Check your hands, nails and palms, as well as the soles of your feet. Elbows, arms and underarms can be thoroughly checked using a full-length mirror. Focusing on your neck, chest and torso (under the breasts) are important for identifying odd moles or suspicious new sun spots. Using a second mirror, examine your back, shoulders, upper arms, and your lower body (including your genitals.)
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Melanoma Safety Guide

  1. What is Melanoma? How can it be prevented? 
  2. Causes of Melanoma--Risk Factors
  3. Facts about Melanoma
  4. Melanoma Detection
  5. Self-Check for Melanoma (You are here.)
  6. Find a Doctor for Melanoma
  7. Melanoma Diagnosis
  8. Treatment of Melanoma
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