Skin Cancer - What to look for

Each year in Australia almost 1,900 people die from skin cancer; yet skin cancer is a preventable disease and the majority of skin cancers are treatable if detected early.

Using the ABCDE system can be a good way to check for changes to your skin. While performing this skin check, remember that if you notice anything unusual, you should visit our clinic immediately.

The ABCDE system recommends checking moles and spots for five sorts of changes:

  • Asymmetry (unevenness) – One half of the spot doesn’t match the other.
  • Border – The edges of the spot are irregular, ragged, notched or blurred.
  • Colour – The colour of the spot is not the same all over and may include shades of brown or black, red, white or blue.
  • Diameter – The spot is larger than 6 mm across (about 1/4 inch) or is growing larger over a period of time.
  • Evolution or elevation – The spot may change in shape or size and a flat spot may become raised in a matter of a few weeks. A new spot resembling a small grey button may also appear where there was none previously.


Also be aware of any mole or freckle that:

  • Suddenly appears
  • Changes over a period of months
  • Grows in size
  • Changes shape
  • Becomes mottled in colour
  • Has a persistent itch
  • Regularly check hard to reach areas of the scalp, neck, ears, back, arms, backs of legs, nail beds, soles of feet, palms and even between the toes!

If you notice anything new or unusual on your skin, make an appointment to see any of our doctors immediately.


Note: Images sourced from Skin Cancer Foundation. Information sourced from SunSmart

« Go Back