WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Over 80,000 new cases of invasive melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year. Over 9,000 people will die from the skin cancer.
The secret to surviving the disease is catching it early.
"It has the potential to spread," said Dr. Michelle Fillion, surgical oncologist at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Most signs of the disease are presented from black or black-blue moles or lesions on the skin.
Symptoms of Melanoma are called the ABCDE's.
A is for Asymmetrical.
"Any lesion that has an asymmetrical border that's just irregular," Fillion explained.
B is for Border.
"Some people have little moles that are very smooth, round classic borders but those that are just vague," Fillion said. "They kind of look like little tentacles. They just don't look quite right. We worry about those."
C is for color.
"A lesion on the skin that has more than one color," Fillion described. "It can have a dark blueish tint, a dark black tint or just different shades of a color in one lesion. Those always get a little worrisome."
D is for diameter.
"Anything greater than the size of a pencil tip eraser gets us worried," Fillion warned
E is for evolution.
"A lesion that you have or a mole that is on someone's body but all of a sudden starts changing—doesn't look quite right, starts to get raised, starts to ulcerate, bleeds, we get concerned and they really should see a dermatologist," Fillion said.