What you are looking for
is change in size, shape and color. The features of change to watch
for in moles are the A, B, C, and Dís of detection.
Normally, moles will grow in a symmetrical, even fashion. When one
area is growing faster than another, it leads to irregular uneven
outgrowths producing an asymmetrical appearance. Moles that are symmetrical
can be folded along an axis to produce a mirror image. Moles that
are asymmetrical have no axis that allows them to fold perfectly on
to them self.
Much like symmetry, the outward edge of a normal mole is well defined
and sharp, however, when the borders become irregular, hazy or ill
defined, it is an indication that there may be uncontrolled localized
Moles normally have a very uniform color or pigment. When the color
starts to vary with the appearance of black or dark brown areas and
the development of red, gray or white changes within a mole it is
time to get a medical evaluation.
Most moles achieve a stable size over time. Moles that progressively
increase in size after the age of 20 and particularly those that get
larger than 1 cm should be evaluated.
Understanding the cardinal changes of ABCD can lead to the early detection
of potentially abnormal lesions and prevent serious consequences.
It is especially important for those who have had abnormal moles removed
or have a family history of malignant melanoma to carry out their
own regular skin review. At least 50% of all malignant melanomas are
discovered by skin self examination. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment can improve the cure rate for malignant melanoma.
Click here for 19 different images
of malignant melanoma, with specific features of change identified