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The ABC’s of Skin Cancer Prevention

As a naturopathic doctor, I always advocate for prevention of disease.  Therefore, teaching you the warning signs that a mole needs to be looked at by a dermatologist will help prevent skin cancer from developing in yourself and your children.

Prevention of melanoma and other skin cancers can be done by checking your skin for moles and freckles on a regular basis, preferably once a month.

Skin checks are especially important if you are fair skinned, work outdoors, or have a family history of cancer.

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The following is a summary of the ABC’s of skin cancer prevention:

A is for Asymmetry

What shape is your mole? Is it a circle, an oval, or just a blob? If you draw a line down the middle do both sides match or is one larger than the other?

If both sides are not the same shape and size, it should be looked at by a doctor.

B is for Borders

Look at the edges of the mole. Is it red, jagged, or poorly defined?

If you answered yes to any of the above, it should be looked at by a doctor.

C is for Colour

Moles are typically an even brown colour throughout.

Is your mole darker in some parts and lighter in others? Is it black, red, white or blue? Does it bleed?

If you answered yes to any of the above, it should be looked at by a doctor.

D is for Diameter

Take a ruler and measure the diameter from one side of the mole to the other.

Melanoma is usually greater than 6 millimetres (the approximate size of a pencil eraser).

If your mole is larger than 6 mm or smaller but has other changes, it should be looked at by a doctor.

E is for Elevation or Evolution

If your mole is flat and unchanging it is less likely to be cancerous.

If it is elevated or is changing in any way mentioned above, it should be looked at by a doctor.

Remember to do a skin check once per month! It can also be helpful to take photos for comparison.

Have a wonderful summer!

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Category: Health, Moms Wellness, Summer, Themes, Wellness

About the Author ()

Dr. Ellen Simone welcomes you to work with her under a holistic view of health which encompasses the understanding that the mind and body are connected to sustaining long-term health and wellness. As a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Simone focuses on family wellness and has special interests in women and children’s health. She loves working with women through different phases in their lives; to regulate the menstrual cycle, ease PMS symptoms, optimize fertility, provide support during and after pregnancy, maintain breast health and welcome menopause. Children are also a primary focus in her practice and she believes that setting healthy habits at a young age is important for long-term health and wellness. Author's website.

Comments (8)

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  1. Victoria Ess says:

    Thanks for the helpful checklist!

  2. cbrazil says:

    Easy to remember tips – thanks!

  3. KD says:

    Thanks for the tips, with the alphabetical memory trick.

  4. Judy Cowan says:

    Easy to remember checklist,thank you!

  5. Suzie M says:

    This is a great reminder esp for all us used to be sun fans

  6. BobbiJo Pentney says:

    Thank you for the reminder, we need to look out for ourselves and our families.

  7. DARLENE W says:

    I know a lot of 50 something people who were rather carefree with the skin care when they were younger, they regret it now

  8. kathy downey says:

    Thanks so much for this post,so very helpful

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