Sunday, June 13, 2010

What To Look For In A Mole

As part of secret-coming-out day, I posted my story and this link on Weddingbells. I truly do credit Sarah's story as the push to get this mole looked at and felt strongly that I needed to share my story with that community. One of the girls on the site posted a very kind reply and also posted a guidelines of sorts of what to look for in a suspicious mole. I thought it was very helpful and wanted to post it here too. Here is a copy and paste of that part of her post (Thanks Diva if you're reading!).

For those wondering about their own moles, the basic ABCDE warning signs to determine whether a mole is a melanoma are as follows (American Academy of Dermatology, 2009):

A. Asymmetry: one half unlike the other half
B. Border Irregularity: irregular, scalloped, poorly defined
C. Color: varied from one area to another, shades of tan and brown, black; Sometimes white, red or blue
D. Diameter: greater than 6mm, but can be smaller
E. Evolving: looks different from the rest or changing in size, shape, color

In addition, there are other features of melanoma such as surface changes (bleeding, oozing, scaliness) or signs of itchiness, pain, or tenderness.

When I first went in to have my mole checked a few years ago, it fell into only a couple of these categories. By the time I had it removed, it hit into all of these categories. This is a wonderful reference guide for those now questioning their own moles, but I would like to say, any mole that gives you cause for concern should be checked out. Even if it doesn't fit all of these categories. Early detection is key and it is always better to be safe than sorry! If you aren't 100 percent happy with the response you've been given, get a second opinion. Your health is worth it!

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