Most of us are pretty clueless when it comes to checking moles on ourselves and our kids. Often we see something that might look a little dodgy but we’re really not sure what’s normal and what isn’t. It ends up on the ‘must get that checked out one day’ list.

It’s pretty fair to say that many of us take a head in the sand approach when it comes to skin cancer.

In fact a recent study found that 81% of Aussies are worried about at least one mole, but hadn’t had it checked in the last year.

Do you know about the ABCDE method of checking the skin, which is considered best practice by our health professionals?

A is for Asymmetry. If you draw a line down the middle of a mole it should be even on both sides. If it’s not asymmetrical it should be checked by a doctor or skin specialist.

B is for Border Regularity. The edges of the mole should be well defined. If it looks jaggered it needs to be checked.

C is for Colour. If your mole has two or more colours it could be dangerous and should be checked.

D is for Diameter. Anything larger than 5mm should be shown to a doctor.

E is for Evolution. If your mole has changed in size, shape or colour over time it should be shown to a doctor.

Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70.

Most skin cancers are caused by skin damage. Caught early the survival rates are very high.

A new Early Detection Skin Cancer home checking tool is now available. It helps people to check their skin for signs of cancer using the ABCDE method. Check it out here.

Have you had your skin checked lately? Is it a regular checkup, please share below.

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  • I really need to book a skin check as I have never had one. I was booked in for one 4 years ago and then my life got turned upside down and I had to cancel.


  • It is so important to be constantly vigilant when it comes to moles.


  • I don’t really have any moles to check, just a few freckles. Hubby has heaps of big dark moles though as well as a history of cancer in the family. So this will be a great help when checking his


  • Good to know! That’s interesting! Thanks for sharing this!


  • I just had 3 spots removed, one pre cancerous. Very important to be checked.


  • I never knew about the ABCs of checking moles, especially A. Useful to know.


  • came to Australia long ago with English skin my husband and his surf club friends, said sunbaking was all the go. Covered in coconut or baby oil, got badly burned, but thought it was way to go.. Over years skin cancers have had removed,stay well covered as is now encourage and approved. Still now and then like the tan look and glow but now it comes from a tube, not in sun cook off row.. picture of how it used to be, still encourages some unwisely


  • I had mine checked a while ago but it is probably time again.


  • thanks heaps for sharing this x


  • Another great little read, thanks for sharing.


  • Soooo important. I always keep on top of checking these, and getting hubby involved if i can’t see the changes for myself.


  • The ABCDE method is a great one to go by.


  • This is a timely reminder. My sister has just had a second melanoma and it reminded me that when I have my annual GP check up in July/August, I need to have any spots checked. I do look over them regularly and speak to the Dr if I think something doesn’t look right. It’s something I definitely need to keep on top of.


  • Very helpful concise information – thank you.


  • Thank you for the ABCDE info. I will surely be on the lookout now I know what to look for.


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