This article is part of Expert Diagnosis & Treatment Saves the Vision—& Life—of a Patient with a Rare Form of Melanoma, NYU Langone Health News, NYU Langone Health News Summer 2021.
More than 30 years ago, dermatologists at NYU Langone Health developed the criteria for detecting melanoma, popularized in the mnemonic ABCDE. NYU Langone’s melanoma surgeons specialize in removing the cancer while preserving appearance and function; our medical oncologists provide the latest targeted treatments, including genetically engineered injectable therapies; and our researchers and clinicians study all aspects of the melanoma disease process.
A is for asymmetry, where half the mole is unlike the other.
B is for border, where the mole is irregularly shaped, scalloped, or poorly defined.
C is for color, where there is variation from one area to another or different shades of tan, brown, or black, and sometimes white, red, or blue.
D is for diameter, where a mole is wider than a pencil eraser.
E is for evolving, where a mole changes in size, shape, or color over time.