Skin Cancer Screening is as Easy as ABCDE
Diligent Skin Examinations are Important.
Skin cancer is a hot topic in the summer, but sun protection should be on our minds year-round. It’s the most common cancer in the United States and worldwide. The American Cancer Society estimates that one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70.
Skin cancer is a risk for everyone.
Early detection is vital.
Self-checks at home.
- Asymmetry - One half is unlike the other half. An irregular shaped mole with two sides that look very different is a warning sign.
- Border - An irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border. A regular mole will have a smoother, rounder edge.
- Color - Is the color uneven from one area to another? Does it have shades of tan, brown or black, or is sometimes white, red or blue? Color changes could be a warning sign.
- Diameter - Melanomas are usually greater than 6 millimeters (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, but they can be smaller. Seek a doctor's opinion if they are bigger than this or change in size.
- Evolving - A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest, or if you see any change in size, shape or color. If you notice a mole evolving over time, it’s time to see a doctor.
How can I prevent skin cancer?
Because of Hampton Roads’ sun-drenched weather, protection and planning are key to maintaining a healthy and skin cancer-free life.
Dr. Anthony Viol is a board-certified plastic surgeon and a Medical Director at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center’s Advanced Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center. Dr. Viol received his medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va., where he also completed a residency program in general surgery. He completed a fellowship in plastic surgery at Duke University in Durham, N.C. and has vast experience caring for slow-to-heal wounds and the surgical treatment of skin concerns.