To mark Melanoma Awareness month, we thought we would remind you of the simple ABCDE guidelines for checking your moles. If melanoma is recognised and treated early, it is almost always curable, but if it is not, the cancer can advance and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes difficult to treat and can be fatal. Early detection is crucial.

The most important warning signs of a melanoma are changes in the size, shape or colour of a mole. Here’s a handy 5-point check:

A is for Asymmetry

Is one half of the spot unlike the other half?

B is for Border

Does the spot have an irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border?

C is for Colour

Does the spot have varying colours from one area to the next, such as shades of tan, brown or black, or areas of white, red, or blue.

D is for Diameter

While melanomas are usually greater than 6 millimetres (about the size of a pencil eraser), they can be smaller.

E is for Evolution

Is your spot changing shape or appearance?

If any of your moles or pigmented spots exhibit any of these characteristics, please consult with your GP or Consultant Dermatologist immediately.