Can you use skin cancer pictures for self-diagnosis?


Quick Answer

Each type of skin cancer can take on several different appearances, making comparisons with pictures of diagnosed skin cancer an inefficient method of determining whether a particular skin mole or abnormality is cancerous, explains the Skin Cancer Foundation. There are certain warning signs to look for during a self-examination, however.

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Can you use skin cancer pictures for self-diagnosis?
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Full Answer

People should consider their ABCDEs when examining their bodies for signs of skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. A stands for asymmetry, meaning a mole that is not the same on both sides when drawing a line down the middle warrants a trip to the doctor to test for cancer cells. B refers to the border of a mole; edges that are uneven may signal trouble. C stands for color, with moles that are multicolored having a higher likelihood of being cancerous.

The D in ABCDE refers to the diameter of a mole or skin growth, states the Skin Cancer Foundation. A diameter larger than that of an eraser on a standard-sized pencil is concerning, although melanomas may be smaller than this during the initial stages of the cancer. Lastly, the E refers to the manner in which a mole or growth evolves. Changes in appearance, such as changes in size, elevation or color, warrant evaluation by a health care professional. The development of new symptoms in the area, such as itching or bleeding, can also be a sign of skin cancer.

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