Family caregivers are responsible for their elderly relative’s health and wellness.
A is for Asymmetry
B is for Borders
C is for Color
Moles that are monochromatic—usually all brown—are benign and normal. Melanoma often presents with a few different colors within the same dark spot. Colors can range from brown and black, to tan, red and even white. Having a range of colors is a big warning sign of melanoma.
D is for Diameter
Because cancer cells grow, melanoma spots will eventually get bigger over time. If a mole is growing in size, or a new mole appears that is larger than ¼ inch, it may be malignant. While large moles are not always a sign of melanoma, it’s worth getting them checked out to be sure.
E is for Evolving
Most people develop moles in their teen and adult years and these moles stay the same for decades with little changes. If a mole starts to look noticeably different, it may be a problem. Changes in color and size are particularly important. Sometimes moles develop a crust, or they start to itch or bleed, which is another symptom of melanoma.
When family caregivers and elder care providers know the ABCDE’s of melanoma, they can develop a schedule of regular mole checks with aging adults. If anything looks suspicious or unusual on the skin, it’s worth it to get the aging adult to the doctor for an evaluation. Early detection is key to defeating melanoma before it can evolve into something more serious.