New Rule for Spotting Skin Cancer

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April 05, 2010

Size matters less than you think when it comes to better skin cancer detection. Current guidelines used to detect abnormal moles stipulate that people should look for moles only greater than 6 mm, or larger than a pencil eraser. "But size is increasingly arbitrary and irrelevant," says researcher Stuart Goldsmith, MD. One study estimates that 22% of invasive melanomas are less than 5 mm-so don't overlook smaller moles that appear abnormal (dark colored, with irregular borders), he stresses.

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