The ABCDEs of Melanoma

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What are the ABCDEs of Melanoma?

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. It is often diagnosed in people with Black skin when it is too late to cure. Though it can appear on any skin surface, common locations for melanoma on Black people are on non-sun-exposed skin including the:

  • bottom of the foot
  • lower legs
  • palms
  • under a fingernail or toenail
  • groin

Did You Know:

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 25 percent of melanomas in Black people are diagnosed after the cancer has already spread to surrounding lymph nodes. Receiving a diagnosis at a later stage can make skin cancer much harder to treat. It can also negatively impact outlook.

Follow the below tips to increase your chances of spotting skin cancer early, when it’s most treatable. If you notice any new spots on your skin, spots that are different from others, or spots that are changing, itching or bleeding, contact a board-certified dermatologist. ABCDEs-of-Melanoma.jpg

What are the ABCDEs of Melanoma?

Melanoma is a deadly skin cancer that is rare in Blacks but is often diagnosed too late to cure. The ABCDEs of Melanoma are: Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter and Evolving.

Asymmetry Both halves of the mole do not match.
Borders The mole has very uneven or blurry borders.
Color The mole has three or more colors.
Diameter The diameter of the mole is larger than a No. 2 pencil eraser (6mm).
Evolution The mole changes considerably over time in size, color shape or texture.

During your monthly self-skin cancer checks, remember to use a long mirror to check your back, the back of your legs, your underarms and other hard to see areas.

Help The Cause

Submit a photo of melanoma. This helps us:

  • Contribute to the Black Skin Health AI Data Set
  • Create a database of Black skin issues to fill the current void in AI and medicine for use by clinicians and researchers, combating racial bias in AI and medicine
  • Give Black people a single source of skin health information