Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer that arises from the pigment cells of the skin known as melanocytes. Melanomas can either arise from pre-existing moles or from normal skin. While fair-skinned individuals have the highest melanoma risk, everyone can develop melanoma. Factors such as past sun exposure, severe sun burns, having multiple atypical or abnormal appearing moles, or having a family history of melanoma can increase the risk of developing melanoma.  Examine your skin and pigmented spots for the ABCDE signs of melanoma, and if you see any, make an appointment with us immediately.
ABCDE's of Melanoma:
• Asymmetry: If you draw a line through the mole, the two sides do not match, meaning it is asymmetrical.
• Border irregularity: The borders of the mole are irregular or uneven. The edges may be scalloped or notched.
• Color variation: There are a variety of colors (a number of different shades of brown, tan, black, blue or red) within the mole.
• Diameter greater than 6 millimeters: Melanomas often are larger in diameter than a pencil eraser (6mm) when diagnosed. 
• Evolving: Watch for any change in a mole - in size, shape, color, elevation, or another trait, or any new symptom such as bleeding, and itching.
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