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When to Consult a Specialist for Skin Cancer Concerns

As summer approaches, thoughts often turn to sun, sand and surf. While it’s essential to remember to protect your skin from harmful UV rays with sunscreen and other precautions, it’s equally crucial to monitor your skin health and seek professional advice when needed.

“Detecting melanoma early greatly improves the outcome and prognosis for one of the most deadly and preventable cancers,” said Steven Q. Wang, M.D., program director of dermatologic oncology at Hoag Family Cancer Institute. “I encourage patients to always seek medical attention if you have any concerns or questions about your skin health.”

Hoag is home to the VECTRA WB360 whole-body 3D imaging system, a revolutionary imaging technology to aid in skin lesion mapping and monitoring, revolutionizing diagnosis and treatment.

But before relying on advanced technology, there are signs you can look for at home.

Dr. Wang outlines these as the ABCDEs of melanoma:

Asymmetry: A mole should be symmetrical when mentally divided in half. Any noticeable asymmetry should prompt a visit to a specialist.

Border: Normal moles have well-defined borders. If a mole’s edges are irregular, blurred, or poorly defined, it warrants professional evaluation.

Color: Most moles have consistent coloring. Melanomas may display varying shades, including unusual hues like red or blue.

Diameter: Moles larger than a pencil eraser should be examined by a specialist.

Evolving: Any changes in size, shape, or color of existing moles or the appearance of new ones should be promptly assessed by a dermatologist.

To schedule an appointment or learn more, visit Your proactive approach could save your life.