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What Is Skin Cancer?

Mole Scanning

Moles and Melanoma

Melanoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Solar keratosis

What To look For

Excision Of Skin Cancers

Skin Cancer Facts

Over 380,000 Australians are treated for skin cancer each year  – that’s over 1,000 people every day.

Over 1,600 Australians die from skin cancer each year

Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world.

Almost all skin cancers can be cured if diagnosed early

Almost all Melanomas diagnosed early can be cured

What to Look For

When a melanoma is detected at an early stage and treated, it Is usually curable. Most, if not all, melanomas can be spotted as soon as they arise - if you know what to look for and check for those signs.

The ABCD's of Moles & Melanoma

Most people have a number of brownish spots on their skin - freckles, birthmarks, moles. Almost all such spots are normal, but some may be skin cancers. Key warning signs of melanoma are shown below. Be alert to irregularities in shape, edges, color, and size. The ABCD's of melanoma are as follows: Asymmetry, Border irregularity, Color variability, and Diameter larger than 4 mm.

assymetrya

Asymmetry

Most early melanomas are asymmetrical: a line through the middle would not create matching halves. Common moles are round and symmetrical.

 
borderb

Border

The borders of early melanomas are often uneven and may have scalloped or notched edges. Common moles have smoother, more even borders.

 
colourc

Color

Common moles usually are a single shade of brown. Varied shades of brown, tan, or black are often the first sign of melanoma. As melanomas progress, the colors red, white and blue may appear.

 
diameterd
 

Diameter

Early melanomas tend to grow larger than common moles - generally to at least the size of a pencil eraser (about 6mm, or 1/4 inch, in diameter).

If you develop any or these changes, have your skin checked immediately

How Does a Mole Change?

In addition to checking out the ABCDs, you should watch for change.

Size
The mole suddenly or continuously gets larger.

Color
A wide variety of colors or color combinations appear. Color might spread from the edge into the surrounding tissue.

Elevation
A mole that was flat or slightly elevated increases in height rapidly.

Surrounding skin
The skin around a mole becomes red or develops colored blemishes or swellings.

Surface
A smooth mole develops scaliness, erosion, oozing. Crusting, ulceration, or bleeding are signs of more advanced disease.

If any of these changes occur, they should be checked by a doctor. It is particularly important for you to select a doctor who is experienced in skin cancer and is trained to recognize a melanoma at its earliest stage.

Prompt action is your best protection. Common moles and melanomas do not look alike. Check the comparison photos:


 
Benign
 
Malignant
 

 
Symmetrical
 
sym
 
assym
 
Asymmetrical (the two sides do not match)
 

 
Borders are even
 
bord even
 
borduneven
 
Borders are uneven
 
1
 
One shade
 
1colour
 
2colour
 
Two or more shades
 

 
Smaller than 5 mm
 
sm
 
large
 
Larger than 5 mm