Summer is rapidly coming to an end, and where there is sun there is also the risk of getting malignant melanoma. Malignant melanoma is a cancerous disease that originates from the pigment producing cells in our skin called Melanocytes. Melanoma is often a malignant disease, spreading the disease to other areas of the body as it grows under the skin. Melanoma is easily treated in the early stages of the disease. Melanoma may go unnoticed in the foot and ankle in the earlier stages, which accounts for a higher mortality rate when the disease is discovered after reaching advanced stages. Knowing the ABC’s of malignant melanoma may help save you or someone else’s life.

Asymmetry-Divide the growth in question into two halves. Compare the halves to one another to make sure they are equal in size. An asymmetric growth may indicate melanoma.

Borders-A skin growth should have a clear, noticeable, and regular borders. Skin growths that have irregularly shaped borders that are ragged and blurred may indicated melanoma.

Color-A skin growth with multiple blended colors such as: brown, white, black, red, may be indication of melanoma.

Diameter-A regular mole on human skin should not measure more then 5-6 millimeters. It the diameter is larger, one should suspect Melanoma.

Elevation-A skin lesion that is raised from the skin may indicated malignant melanoma.

Malignant melanoma may appear on any part of the body. Lesions that appear to be getting larger in shape, look like they are bleeding or scabbing, have accompanying redness and swelling in the affected areas, or itch and are painful should seek medical attention immediately. Keeping out of the sun and using sunscreen can help deter this horrible invading disease.

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