According to @skincancerorg, "Only 20 to 30 percent of melanomas are found in existing moles, while 70 to 80 percent arise on apparently normal skin."
Understanding this statistic is important to put into context why we perform skin cancer screenings and follow for changes.
Remember the ABCDEs as a guide to evaluating spots:
A : Asymmetry : If the spot is folded in half does one side match the other side.
B : Borders : Are there any notches, irregular or blurred borders?
C : Color : Are there any variations in color through the mole from brown to black and even red, pink, white or blue?
D : Diameter : Is it larger than 6 mm in size (pencil head eraser in size)?
E : Evolving : Change is one of the most important criteria to consider and one that I encourage patients to recognize. This is something that may be more evident to patients than to your doctor so it is important to point out moles or spots that are catching your attention.
Please consider adding annual skin cancer screenings to your preventative health care routine. May is Skin Cancer Awareness month and the perfect opportunity to get your skin exam in before heading out to sunnier days! Schedule your skin cancer screening today!