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Be your own skin cancer detective

(CBS News video). Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, striking more than two million Americans each year, and on the rise. But it is also easiest to cure, if diagnosed and treated early. CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton shared how you how to be your own skin detective.

Ashton explained, “There are the main types of skin cancer: the most common forms: basal cell, squamous cell carcinomas and the less common, but more serious kind, melanoma. Because each has many different appearances, it is important to recognize the early warning signs of melanomas.”

Use the “ABCDE” system to find skin cancer warning signs:
• A stands for asymmetry. If you draw an imaginary line through the center of a mole, the two halves will look different in shape, color or both.
• B is for border. Look for edges that are uneven, scalloped or blurry.
• C is for color. A normal mole is one color throughout. Melanomas may contain different colors or different shades of a color.
• D stands for diameter. Most melanomas are 1/4 inch (roughly the size of a pencil eraser) or larger.
• E is for evolving. If any spot changes, it should not be ignored. Have a doctor take a look.

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