Malignant melanomas are responsible for most of the deaths attributed to skin cancer.  About 900 Canadians die each year of melanoma. Some of these deaths might be prevented by early detection.  

In my practice as a dermatologist, I frequently educate patients on skin self-examination and explain what one look for when examining one’s skin. When examining your moles, look for the ABCDE's of melanoma:

  • A is for Asymmetry (a growth is asymmetrical if it is not the same on both sides)

  • B is for Border irregularity (jagged, irregular edges)

  • C is for Colour variation (more than one colour in the same mole; black, brown, pink white)

  • D is for Diameter (larger than 6 mm)

  • E is for Evolution or change

If you have a mole or skin growth that you feel meets the ABCDE's of melanoma, or a growth that has recently changed or is bleeding, please seek medical attention as soon as possible.

The ABCDEs of melanoma

The ABCDEs of melanoma