The following system can help differentiate a normal mole from a potentially cancerous one:

  • Asymmetry – the mole is not symmetrical; one half may have a different shape, color or outline than the other
  • Border – the border of the mole is blurred, notched or ragged in appearance
  • Color – there are different shades of color within the mole
  • Diameter – the size of the mole exceeds 6mm (ex: pencil eraser)
  • Elevation – the mole is raised above the surface of the skin

You should check your moles at least once a year for any changes


  1. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States
  2. Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined
  3. 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime
  4. From 1970-2009, the incidence of melanoma increased by 800% among young women and 400% among young men