Putting our region's cancer needs first

How to spot the signs of skin cancer

First, try to keep an annual diary of your moles as this will help you easily track any changes. You could keep photos of them on your phone, to check and compare.

woman in the forest, with sunburn on her back that spells out 'think again'

The NHS also provides an ABCDE checklist to help tell the difference between moles and melanoma:



Melanomas have two very different halves and are an irregular shape 




Melanomas have a notched or ragged border




Melanomas will be a mix of two colours 




Most melanomas are larger than 6mm (1/4inch) in diameter 



Enlargement or Elevation

A mole that changes size over time is more likely to be melanoma 


Non-melanoma skin cancer is usually signalled by a lump or discoloured patch on the skin that doesn't disappear for weeks and slowly progresses over months or years. 

Cancerous lumps with typically be red and firm while cancerous patches are usually flat and scaly. 

If you have any skin abnormality such as a lump, ulcer, lesion or skin discolouration that hasn't healed after four weeks it is good practice to visit your GP. It's unlikely to be skin cancer, but it's always best to be sure. 


If you have a dark or black skin tone, you should also look out for the following: 

  • Lumps, bumps or dark patches on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, under the nail and the nail areas 

Together, let's lower our rates of skin cancer and be sun smart.


If you see something that doesn't look quite right, chances are it's nothing to worry about. But it's better to speak to your GP as soon as possible. The sooner skin cancer is caught the higher likelihood of a short, successful treatment. 

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