There are three main types of skin cancer – melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. If detected early, skin cancer is almost 100% treatable. If left untreated, skin cancer can spread and become life threatening.
The A.B.C.D. Rule
The A.B.C.D. rule has been very effective at aiding the early identification of superficial spreading melanomas. Superficial spreading melanoma can have any one of the following criteria.
- Asymmetry – The shape of one half does not match the other.
- Border – The edges are often ragged, notched, blurred, or irregular in outline; the pigment may spread into the surrounding skin.
- Colour – The colour is uneven. Shades of black, brown, and tan may be present. Areas of white, grey, red, pink, or blue also may be seen.
- Diameter – Size changes and usually increases. Typically, melanomas are at least 6mm in diameter (the diameter of a pencil).