Know Your ABCDEs: How to Tell a Mole From Melanoma

WRITTEN BY: Dermatology
Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer, is often difficult to diagnose and can spread — or metastasize — if it is not detected and removed quickly.

When found early, however, melanoma can often be treated with a simple surgery. Routine self-examinations are an important part of identifying melanoma in its earliest, and most treatable, stages.

In order to determine if a mole may be melanoma, follow the ABCDE method of self-screening:




If you have a mole that fits one or more of these criteria, you should see a dermatologist as soon as possible so he or she can determine if a biopsy is necessary. You can also ask your primary care doctor to check your skin for signs of skin cancer at your annual physical. Remember: early detection is key!



The Department of Dermatology at UPMC diagnoses and treats all kinds of skin diseases and dermatologic conditions. The Department offers services and information in the areas of general dermatology, medical dermatology, pediatric dermatology, dermatologic surgery, dermatopathology, cutaneous oncology, and cosmetic dermatology. Read More