ABCDE OF SIGNS
New Zealand has the highest melanoma incidence rate in the world. More than 2000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
It is the most commonly registered cancer in men aged 25-44 and the second most common in women of the same age.
Sunburn in childhood increases risk of melanoma in later life.
Symptoms can often be described by the ABCDE system:
Asymmetry: two halves of the mole are different from one another
Border: the edges of the mole are poorly defined. It is ragged, notched, blurred or an irregular shape
Colour: the colour is uneven with shades of black, brown and tan. Melanomas may also be white, grey, red, pink or blue
Diameter: there is a change, particularly an increase, in size. Melanomas are usually bigger than six millimetres
Elevation: as it progresses, part or all of it will become elevated.