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How do I know if my mole is cancer?

Dr. Jill Onesti, MD
Surgical Oncologist

A simple tool to help you determine if a new mole or skin lesion may be skin cancer is to remember the ABCDEs of melanoma, which indicate a higher concern for cancer: 

  • Asymmetry: a lesion that doesn't look the same on both sides
  • Borders: irregular borders that aren't smooth and round
  • Color: darker or multiple shades of skin lesion
  • Diameter: size bigger than an eraser on a pencil
  • Evolution: a skin lesion that has changed since last looking at it

If you notice even one of these findings, you should ask your doctor to evaluate and biopsy the mole or lesion.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site.  In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Worried if a mole is more than just a mole? In this video, Dr. Oz gives his method for diagnosing a troublesome mole.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.