NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Melanoma

14 NCCN Guidelines for Patients ® : Melanoma, 2018 1  Melanoma basics Signs and symptoms Figure 2 Lymph vessels and nodes Throughout your body, including your lungs, is a network of vessels that transport lymph to the bloodstream. Lymph is a clear fluid that contains germ-fighting blood cells. As lymph travels in vessels, it passes through lymph nodes, which remove germs from lymph. Illustration Copyright © 2016 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved. Illustration Copyright © 2016 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved. ABCDE rule Asymmetry: One half or side of the spot or lesion does not match the other half or side. Border irregularity: The edges of the lesion are ragged or notched. Color: The color of the lesion is not the same throughout. There may be different shades of tan, brown, or black and sometimes patches of red, blue, or white. Diameter: The lesion is wider than a ¼ inch—the size of the top of a pencil eraser. However, doctors have found melanomas as small as ⅛ inch. Evolving: The lesion has changed in size, shape, color, or texture over the past few weeks or months. This is a key factor for recognizing melanoma, especially when the lesion looks different from the rest of a person’s moles, like an “ugly duckling.” Figure 6 ABCDE rule: Moles with and without signs of cancer The ABCDE rule is an easy way to remember how to tell a normal spot on skin apart from a melanoma. Illustration Copyright © 2017 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.