Have you performed your monthly mole check? If not, take time today to do it and put it on your calendar for this day every month! Checking your moles monthly can help you from developing malignant melanoma. The earlier you find suspicious moles or lesions, the better your chances of being cured.
Some helpful tips to examine your moles:
- Examine your skin after a shower, in good light, in front of a mirror without your clothes on.
- Make sure to do a thorough, full body inspection. Start with your toes or your face and work your way over every surface of your body. Be sure to also check your scalp, underarms and genitals, parts that could be covered with hair.
- Look for moles or skin markings that you haven’t noticed before, or areas that have changed in appearance since your last exam. Pay special attention to lesions that bleed or don’t heal.
- Photos taken over a period of time can be helpful in determining whether a skin marking has changed.
- Follow the ABC method for examining suspicious markings:
- A = Asymmetry – do both sides of the mole match? If one side does not match the other, it could indicate melanoma.
- B= Border – If the border has jagged or irregular edges, see your physician right away.
- C = Color – Black, red, white and multi-colored moles should be seen by a professional right away. Tan and brown moles are usually ok, but make sure to watch for changes to these moles as well.
- Diameter – Usually moles should be smaller than the end of a pen.
- Elevation – moles should be flush with the skin around the mole. If you notice a mole is raised, visit your physician right away.
- Do what you can to prevent skin cancer. Some ideas:
- Wear sunscreen in the sun, in all seasons!
- Wear a hat and sunglasses
- Avoid tanning salons
- Try to stay out of the sun between 10am and 3pm
Take action today to protect yourself and your family members!
Chat with Dr. Delman about Skin Cancer:
Join Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University physician Keith Delman, MD at noon on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 for an online web chat on melanoma and other skin cancers. He will talk about skin cancer prevention and answer questions such as:
-What are signs of melanoma and skin cancer?
-How is melanoma or skin cancer treated?
-What is the latest research on treating these cancers?
Join us for an informative session that could save your life. Register by visiting emoryhealthcare.org/mdchats.
About Margi McKellar, MS, PA Emory Winship Cancer Institute’s Melanoma Coordinator
Margi plays a unique role for the team as our Melanoma Coordinator. In this position, she serves as the point of contact for referring physicians and the patients and guides them from the point of their initial referral through long-term follow up. She helps our patients use their time efficiently, analyzing patient flow, appointment availability, clinical trial eligibility and ensures that patients see the correct complement of specialist to receive optimal care – medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiation oncology, lymphedema specialists. Margi actively interfaces with our clinical trial nurses to ensure patients have the opportunity to be considered for clinical trials while facilitating prompt screening for these programs. In addition to coordinating the care of patients, she also sees patients in our long-term follow up clinics.