Skin Cancer

Frequently Asked Questions

13. What are the symptoms of skin cancer?

Skin cancer is usually visible. Changes in your skin, such as lumps, scabs, red spots, rough patches, or new or irregular moles should be reported to your doctor. You should also see a doctor if you have a mole, birthmark, or other pigmented area of skin that can be classified by the ABCDE symptom system. ABCDE stands for

Melanoma skin cancer is more difficult to treat, so it is important to check for signs and seek treatment as soon as possible. Use the following ABCDE rule to remember the symptoms of melanoma. See a doctor if you have a mole, birthmark, or other pigmented area of skin with

A = Asymmetry. One half of the mole looks different than the other half. (top left image)
B = Border. The edges are often ragged, notched, or blurred in outline. The pigment may spread into the surrounding skin. (top right image)
C = Color. The mole is more than one color. Shades of black, brown, and tan may be present. Areas of white, gray, red, pink, or blue may also be seen.(bottom left image)
D = Diameter.There is a change in size, usually an increase. Melanomas can be tiny, but most are larger than the size of a pea (larger than 6 millimeters or about 1/4 inch). (bottom right image)
E = Evolving. The mole has changed over the past few weeks or months.

Other symptoms of skin cancer include a bleeding mole or the appearance of more moles around the first one.