Get It Checked!

female dermatologist examines a man's irregular moles with a dermatoscope

Although melanoma can be life-threatening, there’s good news: the vast majority of melanomas can be cured with early detection. Here’s what you need to stay safe:

  1. Learn how to conduct a monthly self skin exam

  2. Know the ABCDE’s of Melanoma

  3. Don’t wonder and worry about an annoying mole. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and make a dermatology appointment to get it checked. 

Here are some tips to get get help quickly from your medical professionals:

  • Use your primary care doctor or nurse practitioner to advocate for an urgent problem. They have well established specialist contacts and a quick phone call from them can almost always find an appointment within the week.
  • Call the specialist’s office in the early morning (i.e. 9-10 a.m.) to ask if there have been any cancellations for that day. Be flexible and willing to change your schedule.

  • Realize that more than 90% of the time, the annoying mole you’re worrying about is not life-threatening, and reassurance is all that is needed.

  • Discuss problems with access with your dermatologist directly. Leaving a concerned message will result in a return phone call and some telephone triage.

  • If you are a high-risk patient and don’t have a dermatologist, be proactive and make an appointment to start yearly screenings.