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Spotting Skin Cancer

How to spot skin cancer

The most common sign of skin cancer is a change to a mole, freckle or normal patch of skin.

It’s important to get to know your skin and what it looks like normally, so that you notice any unusual or persistent changes. Use a mirror or ask your partner or a friend to check areas of your skin that you can’t see.

Symptoms of melanoma

The first sign of a melanoma is often a new mole or a change in the appearance of an existing mole.

Normal moles are usually round or oval, with a smooth edge, and no bigger than 6mm (1/4 inch) in diameter.

See your GP as soon as possible if you notice changes in a mole, freckle or patch of skin, especially if the changes happen over a few weeks or months.

Signs to look out for include a mole that is:

  • getting bigger
  • changing shape
  • changing colour
  • bleeding or becoming crusty
  • itchy or painful

 If you would like to ask me about any lumps / bumps or moles then please ask me today. Free email advice from a real doctor.

Dr Helen Webberley MBChB MRCGP MFSRH

Dr Helen Webberley MBChB MRCGP MFSRH

GP and Reproductive Health Specialist

Dr Webberley is an NHS GP in South Wales and also runs a private General Practice service online.

A helpful way to tell the difference between a normal mole and a melanoma is the ABCDE checklist:

  • Asymmetrical – melanomas have two very different halves and are an irregular shape.
  • Border – melanomas have a notched or ragged border.
  • Colours – melanomas will be a mix of two or more colours.
  • Diameter – melanomas are larger than 6mm (1/4 inch) in diameter.
  • Enlargement or elevation – a mole that changes size over time is more likely to be a melanoma.

 

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