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Article originally posted May 3, 2022. 

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer for both women and men. One important way to lower your risk of skin cancer is to perform regular skin checks and look out for new or changed moles or growths.

Perform a self-exam

  •    Examine your entire body once a month 
  •    Use a full-length mirror in a well-lit room 
  •    Use a hand mirror to check hard-to-reach places 
  •    Check your scalp by using a comb or hair dryer to part your hair 
  •    Check any existing moles, blemishes, freckles or other marks, and make note of any spots that have newly appeared 

Know your ABCDEs

Asymmetry – One half of the spot is different from the other half

Border – Edges of the spot are uneven, ragged or unclear

Color – Color is inconsistent or varied throughout the spot

Diameter – The spot is larger than 6mm or 1/4″ across (about the size of a pencil eraser)

Evolving – The spot changes in size, shape or color

During your monthly self-exam, take note of any changes in the spots on your skin. If you notice any of the signs above, contact your healthcare provider.

Learn more about skin cancer prevention, symptoms and treatments.