Early Detection of Melanoma

It used to be the standard for detecting melanoma was using what dermatologists called the “ABCDE” acronym.

  • A stands for Asymmetry
  • B stands for Border
  • C for Color
  • D for Diameter
  • E for Evolving or changing

Using this method, a dermatologist or physician will look for moles that are not symmetrical, the borders are not round, the color is not typical of a mole, the diameter is as big or bigger than a pencil eraser, and the mole shape/color/size is changing.

This has been a great method to detect melanomas, but there are some melanomas that do not display the typical “ABCDE” signs.  Because of this, specialists have created a new method for sight detection of melanoma – the “ugly ducking sign”.

Using this method, dermatologists are to look for skin lesions is based on the concept that these melanomas look different compared to surrounding moles. Furing skin self examination, patients and physicians should be looking for lesions that manifest the ABCDE’s and for lesions that look different compared to surrounding moles.

Using both methods should improve the chances for early detection for all types of melanoma.