The ABCDEs of Melanoma: How to Know When to Worry About Skin Cancer by Joyce Knestrick, CRNP, FAANP

Cancer Family Health
2 years ago

The ABCDEs of Melanoma: How to Know When to Worry About Skin Cancer

Now is the time when many people break out the sunscreen for the summer and worry a little more about their skin health. Melanoma is of concern because it’s the most dangerous and fastest growing of all the skin cancers. One in 50 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in their lifetime, and it is the second most common cancer among people between the ages of 15 and 29. Fortunately, it’s also very treatable, if caught early.

Despite the prevalence, most people don’t know what exactly they’re looking for when they self-check for melanoma, and that can be unsettling. Here’s a helpful checklist that you should use as your starting point:

  • Asymmetry – it has an irregular shape.
  • Border – the edges are irregular or blurred.
  • Color – the color is not consistent.
  • Diameter – it’s larger than a pencil eraser.
  • Evolving – it’s changing in any way.

Not all melanoma fits this criterion, so talk to your nurse practitioner or health provider about any new or unusual skin growth. Remember, melanoma doesn’t have to start in a mole. Get an expert opinion on anything that seems out of the ordinary! To learn more visit

The content on is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

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Donna John
This is so important, Joyce Knestrick, CRNP, FAANP . My neighbor died a couple years ago from melanoma. My dad has had 12+ skin cancers removed over the last two years, but thank goodness none of them have been melanoma. Skin checks are vital!
Elisa Schmitz
Melanoma is very scary. Thank you for this important info, Joyce Knestrick, CRNP, FAANP !

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