The ABCD Rule: Detecting the Symptoms of Skin Cancer

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  • Topic: Skin, Melanoma, Pneumothorax
  • Pages : 4 (1709 words )
  • Download(s) : 575
  • Published : December 20, 2010
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1. Mary noticed a large, brown spot on her skin. She has been playing tennis in the sun for several years without sun protection. She reported the discovery to a friend, who told her to apply the ABCD rule to determine whether or not she had malignant melanoma. Her friend told her that if her answer was "no" to the questions that were asked by the ABCD rule, she had nothing to worry about. What is the ABCD rule and should she ignore the spot if her answers are negative? My Mom had skin cancer, so I learned as much as I could about it. I knew the very basics from working in the hospital but as a respiratory therapist my knowledge was limited. The ABCD rule is a simple method by which an individual can screen themselves, friends and family members for melanomas. A is for Asymmetry. If you find a mole and draw an imaginary line through it both sides should look the same, if they do not than that mole would be considered asymmetrical. B is for the border. When looking at a suspicious mole the outline or edges of the mole should be smooth with the skin, if they are raised, blurry or irregular in any way it would be considered an irregular border. C is for the color of a mole. If the color of your moles or a mole has changed it would be cause for concern. For example if you have a tan mole that you have had since you were ten and it turned black, or patchy or even red you would have reason for concern. D is for diameter. Moles should not be greater than I believe 5 or 6 millimeters. If a mole has grown in size many times it will be accompanied by one of the other letters A, B or C. Any of these abnormalities in moles need to be addressed by a physician the sooner the better. If Mary were my friend and she were able to answer no to the ABCD melanoma questions I would still encourage her to make an appointment with her physician. Skin cancer can appear anywhere on the body, moles are not the only site for skin cancer. It is for this reason I would still be...
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