Face Time: Dr. Billie Cassé shares the ABCDEs of checking your skin for cancer

Published: May. 11, 2023 at 10:45 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, an estimated 186,680 cases of Melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2023. One of the most serious forms of malignant skin cancer begins in cells known as melanocytes. While it is less common than basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), this skin cancer is more dangerous because of its ability to spread to other organs more rapidly if it is not treated at an early stage.

Dr. Billie Cassé, the owner of Reno Tahoe Dermatology, stopped by Morning Break to explain what to look for on your skin that may be cause for concern and should be seen by a dermatologist or PCP.

The ABCDEs of Melanoma

  • A is for Asymmetry. Most melanomas are asymmetrical.
  • B is for Border. Melanoma borders tend to be uneven and may have scalloped or notched edges.
  • C is for Color. Multiple colors are a warning sign.
  • D is for Diameter or Dark. While it’s ideal to detect a melanoma when it is small, it’s a warning sign if a lesion is the size of a pencil eraser (about 6 mm, or ¼ inch in diameter) or larger.
  • E is for Evolving. Any change in size, shape, color or elevation of a spot on your skin, or any new symptom in it, such as bleeding, itching or crusting, may be a warning sign of melanoma.

Ways to Protect Your Skin

  • Say No to Tanning Beds: It’s simple: Don’t use a tanning bed - ever.
  • Know Your Sunscreen: Sunscreens come in many formulations and delivery methods, and it can take trial and error to find the one you like best.
  • Cover It Up: Clothing can provide a great barrier against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
  • Look Out for Windows: While glass blocks UVB rays pretty well, it allows UVA rays to pass through.

Watch Thursday’s interview with Dr. Billie Cassé to learn more.

Dr. Billie Cassé is a monthly contributor to Morning Break. To learn more about Dr. Cassé's services at Reno Tahoe Dermatology, click here. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.