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E. Using Your A, B, C's To Detect Skin Cancer

Narrator: This is Science Today. With the summer sun out, it's important to be aware of the dangers of skin cancer. Barbara Gerbert, a behavioral scientist with the University of California, San Francisco, says there are two ways people can prevent skin cancer.

Gerbert: One is to stay out of the sun or protect themselves and the second is to do skin exams and if they detect things that they're worried about, the sooner they get care, the sooner they get a physician to look at their skin, the better off they'd be.

Narrator: Gerbert says for malignant melanoma, people should look for changes in moles by going through their A, B, C and D's.

Gerbert: They would look for, whether the mole is asymmetrical,; B stands for the border being irregular. C would be that the color varies from one area to another. And D is the diameter and that is if it's larger than a pencil eraser, you might be concerned. The very good news about melanomas is that if they're detected early and removed, then the chance for success is quite high and quite favorable to the patient.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.