This simple ABCD guide is the easiest way to spot a melanoma

If your arms are anything like mine, they’re covered in age spots, moles, pigmentations, freckles, dots and I don’t even know
Health

If your arms are anything like mine, they’re covered in age spots, moles, pigmentations, freckles, dots and I don’t even know what else!

But one thing I’m always looking out for is the tell-tale signs of melanoma.

Having a mother who caught hers in time thanks to a masseuse, I am particularly fastidious in checking my moles. My husband has the job of checking the back half, but how was I to know he was looking for the right things?

Thankfully the Cancer Council has this fantastic infographic that breaks down the tell-tale signs of melanoma and helps us know what to look out for.

Melanoma accounts for one in ten cancer diagnoses and is more common in men that women.

So please, familiarise yourself with this chart, check yourself, check your loved ones and remember to cover up this summer.

melanoma detection guide

[Editor’s note: We received this comment on this story and are adding it here so that others know what to look out for:]

May I strongly suggest that this message be updated with the addition of E for evolving. This means any blemish that is changing in shape colour etc. Can you imagine a tiny pink, shiny regular pimple like blemish that is growing steadily? My daughter had one in her scalp. Her GP said we’ll keep an eye on that but was not concerned enough to send her to a specialist. Some weeks later it was becoming annoying so she went to a skin specialist. Biopsy revealed that it was Nodular Melanoma, very aggressive and deadly. Yes. After several operations to remove the primary and several secondaries, my beloved daughter died a year later at age 50. Earlier detection would have given her greater life expectancy. Her oncologist said that even GPs are poorly educated on these evolving melanomas.

Have you experienced melanoma? Did you know what to look out for?

  1. May I strongly suggest that this message be updated with the addition of E for evolving. This means any blemish that is changing in shape colour etc. Can you imagine a tiny pink, shiny regular pimple like blemish that is growing steadily? My daughter had one in her scalp. Her GP said we’ll keep an eye on that but was not concerned enough to send her to a specialist. Some weeks later it was becoming annoying so she went to a skin specialist. Biopsy revealed that it was Nodular Melanoma, very aggressive and deadly. Yes. After several operations to remove the primary and several secondaries, my beloved daughter died a year later at age 50. Earlier detection would have given her greater life expectancy. Her oncologist said that even GPs are poorly educated on these evolving melanomas.

  2. My daughter’s brother-in-law has stage 4 melanoma and is fighting hard. He was asymptomatic. In other words, he had none of these signs. My late mother had a mole on the back of her leg which was a melanoma. Luckily for her, her doctor noticed it as she was leaving his surgery and she was operated on. She did not die of melanoma but did die of leukaemia.

  3. My daughter’s brother-in-law has stage 4 melanoma and is fighting hard. He was asymptomatic. In other words, he had none of these signs. My late mother had a mole on the back of her leg which was a melanoma. Luckily for her, her doctor noticed it as she was leaving his surgery and she was operated on. She did not die of melanoma but did die of leukaemia.

  4. At this age, we all need to see a Dermatologist regularly. Not just for melanomas…some other types of skin cancers (BCC, SCC) need attention sooner rather than later. To be sure, to be sure.

  5. Also watch out for tiny spots that itch. Mine was a level one melanoma. spotted by my derm. huge chunk out of my arm by the plastic surgeon.

  6. Sarah B  

    Listen to your friends. I had a malignant melanoma on my forearm. I saw it every day and did not notice it changing. My friends said I should get it checked. I put it off until it got to the point where I was looking for tops with sleeves to avoid my friends’ comments. Then I realised that was ridiculous and got it checked.
    I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for my friends badgering me. Five years and counting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *