A Five-Step System to Detect Melanoma

These are criteria used by medical professionals to diagnose the early stages of melanoma. Look for the following signs – asymmetry, irregular borders, uneven pigmentation or large diameters (over 6mm). Finally, keep an eye on the development of moles and pay attention to any changes to the skin in and around moles.

If you’ve noticed one or more of the below mentioned signs, see a doctor (dermatologist) as soon as possible.

Please bear in mind that not all melanomas can be classified according to the parameters listed here, which is why it is recommended to seek out professional help if you suspect you might have melanoma.

When diagnosing melanomas the following signs are considered suspicious:

  • ASYMMETRY
    Melanomas are often asymmetrical, while benign moles are usually symmetrical.

  • BORDERS
    Benign moles characteristically have smooth, even borders. Melanomas often have irregular borders, which are difficult to define.

  • COLOUR
    Multiple shades of colour or the uneven spreading of colour can sometimes be a warning sign that melanoma is present. Benign moles usually display only one shade of colour.

  • DIAMETER
    The diameter of a melanoma is usually larger than 6mm (larger than the diameter of a pencil eraser).

  • EVOLUTION
    The evolution of a mole is the most important factor in diagnosing melanoma. If a mole has changed its colour and/or size in a short period of time (3 – 6 months), immediately consult a specialist.